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22% of households still on dialup

Posted by Michael Bloch in web development (Friday February 24, 2006 )

A recent survey by Parkes Associates shows that approximately 22% of U.S. households are still connected to the Internet via dialup services. With only 4% of households planning to upgrade to broadband this year, that still leaves an appreciable chunk of users accessing the web through narrowband.

The reason I mention this is that I think it’s still pretty important for designers and developers to understand that not everyone has a 1.5 mb connection to the web. Unless you know for sure that your target demographic is overwhelmingly broadband, then sites and applications should be designed to accommodate users on slow connections. People just don’t want to wait for a minute for a page to load. Given that 18% of U.S. users may still be on dialup in 2007, that’s a lot of people you may be frustrating. Frustrated visitors tend not to convert to customers very well :).

It’s not only dialup users who will appreciate fast loading pages – broadband users will too. I pay a rather sizable fee each month for a fast connection, and if a page takes more than 10 seconds to load, I’ll tend to go elsewhere. Because I’m paying a premium fee, my expectations are higher – and I’m sure there’s a lot of others who feel the same.

Read more of the Parkes Associates report

Learn more about optimizing your pages for faster loading.


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