Consumers Willing to Upgrade, but Slow to Embrace Super-Fast Technology

The reason that consumers are not willing to pay for super high-speed services at the moment is because they do not have a need to utilize all of the bandwidth for the high price.  As more content is delivered over the Internet and prices come down, then demand will grow.  This finding is not really surprising.  It is a typical technology adoption process.  Broadband investment is decreasing because the incumbents have cherry picked the most densely populated areas that will produce an ROI within their corporate requirements.  There are still huge parts of the country that have limited access to broadband.  Allowing governments to enter into public/private partnerships to build last-mile infrastructure will spur investment into broadband networks in the rest of the nation.

The Dish, Stanford University
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Rahul Gaitonde, Deputy Editor,

WASHINGTON, October 5, 2010 – Consumers are willing to pay a large amount to upgrade their internet access speeds from slow to fast, but are more reluctant to upgrade from fast to super-fast, according to a research paper discussed at the Telecommunications Policy Research Conference last week.

Gregory Rosston of Stanford University discussed research addressing the value of consumers’ high speed internet access. Consumers are as greatly interested in reliability as they are in speed, he said. The research also found that experienced users are much more willing to pay for higher speeds while inexperienced users are willing to pay for basic access. Additionally, consumers are willing to pay for high-speed access but demand reliability over a super-fast speed.

A separate panel addressed issues surrounding network neutrality compared policies in the United States, Japan and the European Union. In the United States, there is limited competition with weak governmental authority in enforcing network neutrality principles, and there have been a number of infractions. Japan in contrast has a high level of competition at the service level and the government has put in place some non-binding principles.

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About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry's first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
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