Yeah, I know – no good eye candy or sweet hardware specs to get you drooling. Just some good, old-fashioned numbers that made me stop and think for a few moments:
According to the Pew Internet Life Project, the rate of growth in home broadband adoption dropped dramatically this year, climbing a measly 3 percentage points between December 2004 and May 2005 – approximately 53% of U.S. households now have broadband internet access. This data seems especially surprising, given the 20% growth rate reported between November 2003 and May 2004.
The report cites the changing demographics as the cause for the slower rate of growth, as the majority of today’s dialup users are “older, less educated and with lower income.” This basically translates into a smaller, less net savvy pool of potentials to graduate to broadband (I can’t help but picture some sort of geek-themed ceremony for this involving cat-5 cable, routers…ok, I’ll stop).
The report doesn’t offer other explanations or theories about whether or not we’ve hit some sort of saturation point (temporary or otherwise), but I find it surprising that we’re slowing down after hitting the halfway mark. Then again, I have a hard time remembering life P.I. (pre-internet). Then again, even my 75 year-old grandparents have broadband, having migrated up from dialup, just as the report says.