Garretson, Cara. "Broadband outlook for 2002: Hazy." Accessed on April 1, 2002 January 23, 2001.

Keywords: broadband, adoption, demand gap


At the Broadband Outlook 2002 conference attendees debated the possible reasons for the lack of consumer interest in broadband. Although approximately 70% of all us household have access to broadband connections, only about 10% have subscribed. Threats of government regulations, deployment glitches and lack of consumer interest are sited as possible reason for the lack of broadband adoption.

According to Nancy Victory, assistant secretary for communications and information, US Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, the Bush administration is committed to fostering broadband adoption. Robert Pepper, chief of the FCC;s office of plans and policy says there is a ďdemand gap, not a deployment problemĒ, suggesting that customers donít see the value in broadband services. According to research conducted by the Consumers Electronics Association (CEA) dial-up Internet users are basically happy with their service and are not willing to pay the added expense of broadband connectivity. Customers need to experience high-speed connections and commends retailers such as Circuit City for their broadband demonstrations targeted at stimulating customer interest and awareness.

To complicate matters further, many customers simply donít have a choice in broadband providers, there are not enough companies competing in the market. DSL runs over the telephone networks which were not designed for DSL. According to Link Hoewing, assistant vice president of Internet and technology issues with Verizon Communications, only about half of Verizonís local loops are DSL capable. Cable companies use the same networking infrastructure to carry broadband traffic and programming traffic. For this reason, the cable companies limit the bandwidth available for Internet traffic.