While the focus within the cable industry is keenly on providing many types of content on various platforms, 29 percent of all U.S. households (31 million homes) do not have Internet access and do not intend to subscribe to an Internet service over the next 12 months, according to a study by Parks Associates.
Not only are these people not on the Internet, they also don’t seem to care because the professed cause for nonsubscribers is not economic, but rather a low perceived value of the Internet. Forty-four percent of these households say they are not interested in anything on the Internet, and just 22 percent said they cannot afford a computer or the cost of Internet service. Dialup continues to wither Parks’ National Technology Scan, which is in its second year, also found that in 2006, broadband penetration increased from 42 percent to 52 percent, with roughly one-half of new subscribers being converted dialup users and the other half households that previously had no access.
"The industry continues to chip away at the core of nonsubscribers, but has a ways to go," said John Barrett, director of research at Parks Associates, in a prepared statement. "Entertainment applications will be the key. If anything will pull in the holdouts, it’s going to be applications that make the Internet more akin to pay TV." – Mike Robuck