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May 01, 2006

Has the Internet been tapped out?

There is evidence that subscription growth for the Internet has slowed. N.C. State University's Mike Walden considers the reasons why and what they mean for the industry.

"I ... think the Internet certainly is not going to go away, and it is certainly going to get bigger. But people in the industry are worried ... that growth has slowed down," says Dr. Walden, an economics specialist with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.

"I think there are a number of factors here. I think one is the aging population. Statistics show that 60 percent of people over age 65 still don't use the internet. Probably it's because they did not grow up with it, and they are not used to using the computer
But that's the major issue with the industry.

"Five percent say that they will not subscribe to Internet service at all at any price. They simply don't want to have anything to do with it. And 31 percent of nonusers say that they don't have home Internet service because they can get all the Internet service they want at work.

"I think another issue for the industry is the fear of fraud and scams. I think they may be turning off some Internet users. These are all challenges that I think the industry will have to address if it wants to expand."

Posted by deeshore at May 1, 2006 08:00 AM