The Uses and Gratifications of Broadband Internet

The Uses and Gratifications of Broadband Internet

Karianne Vermaas (Utrecht University, The Netherlands and Dialogic innovatie & interactie, The Netherlands) and Lidwien van de Wijngaert (Utrecht University, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-851-2.ch023
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The objective of the study in this chapter is to identify a small number of relatively homogeneous groups of Dutch Internet users (both broadband and narrowband), based on their usage pattern. Using individual and behavioral characteristics, we further investigate the nature of the different groups. The Uses and Gratifications approach is employed as a starting point for an online questionnaire (N=2404) that was conducted. Cluster-analysis and logistic regression were used for data analysis. We were able to identify five clusters of different Internet users based on patterns of behavior. Results show that the Internet users in our sample consist of a large group that more or less conducts the same online activities. Results also show that narrowband and wideband users differ in their Internet behavior.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Broadband: A connection that is ‘always-on’, paid for at a ‘flat rate’, and suitable for good quality video and audio applications, and for exchanging extensive data files: ADSL, cable, and fiber optics.

Users: All people that use broadband or narrowband Internet.

Uses and Gratifications (U&G): The basic idea of the U&G approach is that people use media in order to gratify needs.

Internet: Worldwide accessible network of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by using the standard Internet protocol (IP).

Cluster Analysis: With cluster analysis cases, for example, people are clustered into groups so that the relationship is strong between members of the same cluster and weak between members of different clusters.

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