It’s Not Adoption… Utilization is the Key

By Michael Curri

A few weeks ago I was on a phone call discussing broadband adoption and it struck me how ‘adoption’ meant two different things between the client and myself. I was taking one of our clients through the Broadband Lifecycle. I got to step 5, “Promote awareness and adoption” and paused.  Awareness and adoption… good for alliteration, bad for accuracy.  I blame marketing.

What’s critical in step 5 is not merely adoption; it is utilization, making sure that not only are people and organizations connected, but using broadband and e-solutions.  I can give you a car and if it sits in your driveway, you may have adopted the car… but unless you drive it somewhere, it is of no use.

When network operators and service providers talk about broadband adoption, they are talking about how many customers have signed-up for the broadband service. That is fundamental to their business and where they need to focus.

However, just because a business or an organization has a high-speed connection to the Internet does not mean they know how to fully benefit from it. Not only can they get their emails and surf the Web more quickly, but they can access and serve new markets, change their business and operational models by going online, etc. which have the most significant impacts on operations to increase revenues, decrease or avoid costs, make day-to-day operations easier, etc. It’s about the Internet-enabled applications, or as we call them – e-solutions – that drive benefits.

Utilization is the key – being aware of what is possible, what makes sense for that business or organization, and then having the capacity and skills to implement and start using e-solutions.
At SNG, we no longer talk about ‘broadband adoption’ – we talk about broadband utilization because we do not want to confuse a business, organization, or household simply being connected to broadband as compared what they doing with that high-speed connection.

It is necessary to have broadband, but that alone is not sufficient if you want to realize its promised benefits. Impacts are realized from utilization and I’ll expand on that next week with some case examples and hard numbers on new revenues, cost savings, new jobs, etc.

And the next time you see step 5 in SNG’ Broadband Lifecycle, you’ll notice that SNG helps “Promote awareness & drive utilization.”

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