"So many Americans have already moved from slower to high-speed Internet connections on their home computers that the growth rate of new high-speed customers is tapering off, a new report says.
The Pew Research Center found that from December 2004 to May 2005 the number increased only 3 percent -- a statistically insignificant rise. By contrast, from November 2003 to May 2004, the number of adults with high-speed Internet at home rose 20 percent, according to the study released Wednesday.
Adults who use an older and slower connection -- a dial-up phone number -- to gain access to the Internet expressed far less desire to switch to a high-speed connection -- available from their phone or cable companies -- in 2005 compared with 2002. The findings suggest the adoption of high-speed Internet service in America has gone from rapidly climbing to approaching a plateau.
"There are fewer people hankering for high speed now and that means less pent-up demand for broadband,'' said John B. Horrigan, the report's author.
Dial-up customers who were frustrated by their connection speeds three years ago have probably already upgraded, and remaining dial-up customers are not likely to make the switch because they don't go online that often, according to the report.
"Today's dial-up users are older, less educated and with lower income than their counterparts in 2002, all factors associated with tepid Internet use,'' Horrigan said. "With fewer new Internet users coming online these days, the stock of potential broadband subscribers is not being replenished.''
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