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NTIA Study: Service Still Top Factor in Choice of ISP

According to a just-released report from the National Telecommunications & Information Administration, quality of Internet service is more important than speed in choosing an ISP.

That is according to 2011 Census data collected from more than 53,000 households in July 2011 for the report "Exploring the Digital Nation: America's Emerging Online Experience," which is an update of a previous "Digital Nation" report on home Internet use based on 2010 data.

The new study found that service reliability is the biggest factor in determining service providers, with 37% saying that is the most important factor.

Speed was next at 33%, followed by affordability at 24%.

But for those who switched service providers, cost was the main factor in that decision (38%), followed by speed (30%).

Thirty-six percent of the respondents said they paid between $30 and $44 per month for stand-alone service, while only 6% said they paid less than $15, and 16% said they paid more than $60.

The report said that 41% of broadband cord-cutters did so because of the expense.

The study showed a continuing economic, racial and urban/rural broadband adoption divide, with the poor, Hispanics and African Americans less likely to have adopted broadband than Whites and Asian Americans.

The report found that 30% did not use the Internet at home. The three main reasons: Don't need it or want it; It's too expensive; Don't have the equipment (computer, mobile broadband device).