Monday, March 20, 2006

Why The Web Is Hitting A Wall

It's a sentiment that many Americans find hard to imagine. Plowing through e-mail has become part of the daily routine, like brushing your teeth or walking the dog. But Rogers isn't as much of an oddity as it might seem. Despite its popularity among teens and techies, and its use in most offices, the Internet is far from ubiquitous. In fact, 39 million American households still do not have Internet access. That means only 64% of households are connected, according to a recent survey of 1,000 people by Dallas researcher Parks Associates. An even bigger surprise is that the growth of the Internet in the U.S. has stalled. Despite cheaper prices and faster speeds, analysts expect uptake to creep just one percentage point this year, to 65%, and to only 67% by 2009.

Many people are non-Netizens for obvious reasons. They can't afford service or live in remote areas without hope of affordable connections. And some are past the age when they want to adopt new technology. Says Jeanette Lamar, 92: "I'm too old to start that stuff." But the spectrum of naysayers also includes millions of well-off, educated, and younger professionals. Of the survey respondents who say they don't use the Web, 24% make more than $50,000. Some 39% of the Netphobes attended or graduated college or have at least some associate degree training. And 29% are 44 years old or younger. "It's not just everyone's grandmother who is avoiding the Internet," says John Barrett, director of research at Parks Associates.

From the article "Why The Web Is Hitting A Wall," by Roger Crockett. 

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