You Can Take Our TV and Cell Phones, But Don’t Touch the Internet

PewInternetProjectDon’t let the throngs of people clamoring for the new iPhone 3G S outside your neighborhood Apple store fool you. A new study from Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that in this time of economic hardship, people are giving up cell phones and TV.

One thing Americans aren’t willing to part with, however, is Internet service. In fact, even in the face of financial turmoil, more and more people are purchasing high-speed Internet.

A few key stats from the study:

  • 22% of the 2,253 people surveyed said they have cut back or canceled cell phone or TV service, compared to 9% who said the same about Internet service.
  • 63% of adults have broadband connections at home, a 15% increase over last year.
  • The number of people over age 65 who use the Internet jumped 58% in a year.
  • Internet usage among low-income Americans – identified as those who earn less than $20,000 a year – increased 40% over last year.
  • Internet usage is increasing even as the price of high-speed Internet increases. The survey found that users are paying about $4.50 more per month than they were a year ago.

Even though users are paying more to access the World Wide Web, high-speed Internet still costs less than cell phone or cable TV service – in most cases – so it’s easy to see why a greater number of Americans are opting out of their other plans. Combine those costly services with their limited capabilities compared to those of the Internet, and it’s a no-brainer. When times are tough, people tend to be more resourceful, many now realizing that they can make calls, send texts and watch their favorite TV shows online. Why pay for three separate services when one, cheaper service can do it all?

What do you think?

Is this survey indicative of a new trend where more Americans start consolidating their technology? Or do these stats simply suggest cost-saving measures during the recession, with people returning to separate services once the air has cleared?


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