Broadband Usage Characteristics in Argentina

At first, intenet access from home was usually made through using telephone modems that work at low speed (at a maximum of 56 kbps).  In time, the internet service providers were able to figure out that the telephone phone wire contains much larger capacity, and so an alternate DSL service could be provided without interfering with regular voice telephony.  Meanwhile, cable television operators also realized that their cable wires could also be used to provide internet access.  Collectively, these high-speed methods of internet access are known as broadband, in contrast to the low-speed narrowband access.

While all internet users access the same basic services (electronic mail, world wide web, file transfer protocol, etc), the difference in access speed should lead to differences in user characteristics.  Thus, one would guess that the broadband user can afford to spend more time (note: there is usually no restriction on broadband access time) and they can more readily engage in activities that require high-speed access (such as watching television on the world wide web).

We will now refer to survey data from the 2003 TGI Argentina study.  Within this study, there are 1,459 persons between the ages of 12 to 75 years old who have accessed the internet from their own homes within the past 3 months.  Of these, 84% used telephone and 16% used broadband (note: either DSL or cable).


The data so far support the hypotheses that broadband users spend more time on the internet.  The next chart show the activities that are being engaged.  There is no difference in simple activities such as sending e-postcards to friends and relatives.  If anything, e-mail usage is slightly lower among broadband users.  The largest differences exist for those activities that are virtually impossible with low-speed access, such as watching television and listening to radio, or downloading music and software.  These data confirm common beliefs about broadband user characteristics.

(posted by Roland Soong, 10/22/2003)

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