What people actually use broadband for
The conventional wisdom about the benefits of high-speed internet access has little to do with how people actually use broadband, a report has found.
According to the study, the technology’s often-touted selling points – speed and the capacity to be always on – have little clout with the people that use broadband.
Instead it found that the main advantage for users is that they do not have to worry about the cost of spending too much time online.
The work is part of a long-term project by a think-tank, the Work Foundation, into how people use technologies such as mobile phones and the internet. Bill Thompson has written a perceptive analysis of the study, pointing out that, if it’s correct, then broadband vendors are trying to build a business by offering people things (like massive downloading capacity) that they don’t actually value.