Essential broadband reading

The clever people at The Work Foundation have done some ethnographic research (the first in Britain, they think) into the use of broadband. Their conclusions are fascinating. In summary, pretty much everything that the access industry has been saying in its broadband marketing is wrong. I urge you to read the PDF file referenced here. I particularly like the subtlety of the distinction they draw between ‘always on’ and ‘always there’. I made the case for ‘always on’ in The Guardian a couple of months ago but ‘always there’ is more descriptive of real user behaviour – computers are turned off, people go out and live their lives ? but broadband connections are ‘always there’.

1 comment

  1. Thanks for reading the presentation before commenting on it (pace /.) The ‘always there’ point also relates to the fact that this ‘always there’ idea is a more compelling (and behaviour changing) proposition because it encourages people to really incorporate the interweb into their everyday lives: people with wifi enabled laptops sitting on sofas watching TV and surfing know about this sort of ‘incorporation’ and what always there really means. People with a rather lumpy, ugly machine tucked away in the cupboard upstairs have it always on (sometimes), but not really always there.

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