FCC Wants to Know Why So Many Turn Down Broadband

SUPERCOMM — Much of this week’s education is dedicated to broadband and the federal stimulus funds targeted at the industry. Problem is, ISPs have built high-bandwidth networks into many of the areas in question, but residents and even smaller businesses aren’t signing up for service.

That’s the word from several panelists talking about how to get broadband to every American. Low adoption rates appear to be the key hurdle, rather than access. The FCC is developing a national broadband plan that aims to expand broadband reach to all U.S. residents but policymakers still have to figure out why some people resist subscribing to broadband.

John Horrigan, consumer research director at the FCC, said 33 percent of 96 percent of American households don’t purchase broadband. The agency is surveying citizens to find dig into the reasons.

“We are trying to figure out why people who have access to broadband choose not to subscribe,” Horrigan said, according to several media outlets. “There’s a big group of users still on dial-up, and there are people who have never subscribed to an Internet service.”

Price and age often are considered to be the main obstacles to broadband adoption.

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