What is More Important: Mobile or High Speed Access?

One way of gauging the importance of various products is to ask users how hard it would be to give up a particular product, or asking users to rank various products in terms of utility, usefulness or value.

Most people would guess that a mobile phone is the communications product most people would have trouble giving up.

Actually, according to some studies, Internet access is the most important or valued product.

In that regard, a recent survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project suggests linear video services face a yawning chasm with people 18 to 29. Just 12 percent of those ages 18 and 29 say television would be very hard to give up.

In other words, “television” is not a product younger people care about, in objective terms, or in relative terms, compared to Internet access or mobile phones, for example.

One survey found 53 percent of Internet users say it would be “very hard to give up.”

Another found that 46 percent of people would find it "very hard" to give up Internet access, compared to about 44 percent who thought it would be "very hard" to give up their mobile phone service.

Some 87 percent of U.S. adults now use the Internet, with near-saturation usage among those living in households earning $75,000 or more (99 percent), young adults ages 18 to 29 (97 percent), and those with college degrees (97 percent), according to a new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

About 49 percent of mobile phone owners say their mobile phone would be “very hard to give up.” Some 36 percent said the same about email. Just 28 percent said their landline phones would be very hard to give up.

Some 11 percent of internet users say social media would be very hard to give up.

Fully 68 percent of adults connect to the Internet with mobile devices like smartphones or tablet computers.

So though mobile devices clearly are very important to consumers, it might be a close call whether high speed access is even more important than mobile.

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