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High speed home broadband service in California continues to grow, albeit slowly, but Internet use has flatlined among Californian adults. That’s one of the findings of a survey conducted by the Field Poll on behalf of the California Emerging Technology Fund.
According to the report, 87% of Californian homes were connected to the Internet in 2014 and 79% have high speed access – sorta. The survey classified smart phone access as “broadband”. And it is, in comparison to the 6% of homes that still rely on dial-up modem service. The remaining 2% didn’t say how they’re getting their Internet connection – apparently there was no box to check labeled via my neighbor’s WiFi. The split is 71% with computer access (which could be via wireline or a wide variety of wireless technologies) and 8% just relying on smartphones.
Although the take rate for broadband service is climbing – it had been hovering around 75% the past couple of years – total home use has not. That figure has been fluctuating around 86% or 87% for the past four years. Broadband growth, it seems, is coming from converted dial up customers and the I don’t know crowd.
The top line results that were released didn’t drill down on why, but it’s fair guess that the answer is something like last year’s when 36% of those who aren’t connected at home said it’s because they’re not interested in the Internet or they don’t need it, 22% said either access or computers are too expensive and 21% said they don’t know how to use it. Out-of-home broadband access is important – 6% of Californians rely on it completely. The most common source of access for those who don’t have it at home is the public library.