. . . Wednesday August 18, 2004

Narrowing the Broadband

Understanding the spread of new technologies by understanding my friend Andy.

Look, if you’re reading this post, there is a very good chance that you already have broadband access. In fact, you’ve probably had it since about five minutes after it was first available in your area.

But you’re not my friend Andy. Andy knows me. He knows I am a tech geek and that I am generally right when it comes to related purchasing decisions. But Andy avoids the cutting edge. That’s just his personality. He rolled his eyes when my friend Dave and I urged him to get TiVo for years. And he laughed us off as socially inept losers when we ridiculed his dial-up account.

Now he a TiVo freak. He often askes himself why he waited so long to get on the bandwagon (we never rub it in). And he’s got DSL too. And as we predicted, his relationship to the web has dramatically changed and he uses it more often and it brings him more pleasure (and he’s paying about the same amount).

To understand the roll-out of “new” technologies, you need to understand Andy. And it shouldn’t surprise anyone who understands Andy that broadband growth in the U.S. has slowed a bit in recent months.

Just about everyone who wanted it badly got it early. And just about everyone else who was lagging but would come around eventually (with the constant help and support of folks like my friend Dave and me) is slowly getting onboard right about now.

The mad rush for broadband is over. The slowdown was to be expected. It simply takes longer to convince Andy to get broadband than it took to convince you or me. Let’s just be glad that we don’t have to read about the slowdown in broadband growth using a dial-up account.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to trying to convince Andy to upgrade his wood-burning stove.

Concentration is important!