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31 Million Homes See Little Value In Internet

Dallas — Offline Americans shirk Internet access not because of cost, but lack of interest, according to a report from the research firm Parks Associates.

Roughly 31 million homes, representing 29 percent of U.S. households, do not have access to the Internet.

According to Parks Associates, 44 percent of these households say they are not interested in anything on the Internet vs. 22 percent who say they cannot afford a computer or the cost of Internet service. Some plead ignorance – 17 percent said they were unsure how to use the Internet – while others find it elsewhere (14 percent reported using it at work).

Overall, broadband access increased from 2005 to 2006 from 42 percent of Internet households to 52 percent. According to the research firm, half of new subscribers were dial-up converts.

“The industry continues to chip away at the core of non-subscribers but has a ways to go,” said John Barrett, Parks Associates research director, in a statement announcing the findings.

“Entertainment applications will be the key. If anything will pull in the holdouts, it’s going to be applications that make the Internet more akin to pay TV.”