A report from the PEW "Internet and American Life" project reports the following:
There are three major ways in which broadband users distinguish themselves from their dial-up counterparts. For high-speed home users, broadband lets them use the Internet to:
- become creators and managers of online content;
- satisfy a wide range of queries for information, and;
- engage in multiple Internet activities on a daily basis.
Home broadband users have a new proximity to information and a convenient tool for communication that changes the way they find, generate, and manipulate content. Some uses of the high-speed connection are of the everyday sort -- checking the time a movie is showing, finding a recipe, or settling a friendly argument about a factoid. Many are of greater weight, such as getting health care information off the Internet, taking an online course, or working at home. Home broadband users are typical early technology adopters -- that is, they are wealthy, educated, and male. Our research shows that even though these demographic characteristics are factors in the broadband difference, the high-speed connection matters most in spurring these online Americans to new levels of Internet use.
My earlier posting relates why I'm not convinced the capital markets will take care of rural (and even not so rural) Americans. I can't imagine daily life without an always on (relatively) high-speed net connection.