This paper explores user and provider experiences with broadband networks. Drawing on data from an early broadband trial and from recent studies of consumer broadband usage, the validity of the commonly held view that widespread adoption of broadband is dependent upon the development of a killer application is challenged. It is argued that access to broadband can be valuable for users without the provision of a killer application and that the dynamics of broadband development are shifting. As more users become content creators and distributors and as it becomes easier for consumers to establish broadband networks without help from traditional providers, the existing relationships within the broadband industry will change. Broadband researchers and stakeholders in the development of broadband networks are encouraged to explore and understand the implications of these changes, recognizing that there is much to be learned about deploying broadband in ways that will create the broad societal benefits promised by its promoters.
Preprint of an article later published as: Middleton, C. A. (2003). What If There Is No Killer Application? An Exploration of a User-Centric Perspective on Broadband. Journal of Information Technology, 18(4), 231-246.