Broadband Users On Quest For Speed: Horowitz

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Broadband users are clamoring for more speed, according to a just-released report by Horowitz Associates.

The report, "Broadband Content and Services 2008,"finds that almost one-third of data subscribers feel their Internet service does not meet their speed needs; 19% are thinking about upgrading to a higher speed (or would if it were available); 10% are thinking about switching to another provider; and 5% are not happy with their current speed, but are not planning to upgrade at this time.

Of all broadband customers, DSL subscribers are the least satisfied, and those with the telco services Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse report the highest satisfaction levels with the speeds of their respective services. According to the study, almost eight in 10, or 78%, of FiOS or U-verse customers are satisfied with the speed of their current service and are not planning to switch, compared to 70% of cable modem and 63% of DSL customers. 

The study, which now includes a multicultural component, finds that almost one-third of Hispanic and Asian (both groups at 32%) broadband users say they are thinking about upgrading or switching to get faster speeds, compared to 23% of both white and black broadband users. 

The study takes an in-depth look at current usage of broadband and mobile devices for video and TV content, as well as the growing demand for web and mobile TV services. According to the survey, multicultural broadband users, and especially Hispanics and Asians, tend to be more likely than their white counterparts to watch video content online.

In particular, just about four in 10, or 39%, of Asian and 35% third of Hispanic  broadband users say they watch TV shows online at least weekly, compared to 22% of their white counterparts.

Multicultural Internet users are generally more likely than their white counterparts to view other forms of online video, including movies, sports segments, user-generated content such as YouTube, and music videos. Moreover, multicultural Internet users express more interest than their white counterparts in accessing TV shows online through the computer and connecting it to the TV to watch them.

"These data confirm what our clients in the multicultural space have known for a while now," Horowitz vice president Adriana Waterston said in a statement. "It is true that some segments of consumers have been slower to adopt broadband. On the other hand, we have documented a consistent trend that once online, black, Hispanic, and Asian consumers are on the leading edge when it comes to entertainment-oriented broadband content-including TV shows and movies online- and usage of mobile video. Entertainment-focused broadband content provides distributors with a tool to drive broadband penetration among these audiences, and allows content providers the opportunity to reach their audiences on alternative platforms."

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