viewpoints CACM_TACCESS_one-third_page_vertical:Layout 1 6/9/09 1:04 PM Page 1
estimated valuation for internet service ($ per month).
ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing
Note: Standard error of estimated valuation in parentheses.
This quarterly publication is a
quarterly journal that publishes
refereed articles addressing issues
of computing as it impacts the
lives of people with disabilities.
The journal will be of particular
interest to SIGACCESS members
and delegrates to its affiliated
conference (i.e., ASSETS), as well
as other international accessibility
alternatives, labeled A and B. A follow-up question is then presented that
asks respondents to make an additional choice between their hypothetical choice—A or B—and their “status
quo” Internet service they now experience at their homes.
The hypothetical alternatives differ by the levels of the three Internet
features: cost, speed, and reliability,
and one of five Internet activities: the
ability to designate some uploads and
downloads as high priority (labeled
“Priority” in the accompanying table);
the ability to interact with their health
professionals and view their records
online (“Telehealth”); the ability to
connect remotely regardless of WiFi
availability (“Mobile Laptop”); a built-in Skype-like service (“Videophone”);
and a video-on-demand movie service
the typical u.s.
household is involved
in internet activities
at home that do not
require very fast
for viewing full-length movies (“Movie
We estimate the WTP for a subsample of experienced users, as well
as for a subsample of inexperienced
users (that is, those with less than 12
months of online experience). This
difference provides some indication
of valuations for households that have
recently connected to the Internet.
Speed and reliability are important
features of Internet service with consumers willing to pay approximately $20 per month for more reliable
service, $45 for an improvement in
speed from slow to fast, and $48 for
an improvement in speed from slow
to very fast. These estimates indicate
a very fast service is worth only about
$3 more than fast service. The latter
finding requires an explanation. As it
turns out, the typical U.S. household is
involved in Internet activities and applications at home that do not require
very fast download and upload speeds,
such as reading and writing email or
light Web usage. Households are sensitive to other aspects of their service.
They are also willing to pay an additional $6 per month for Priority, $4 for
Telehealth, $5 for Videophone, and $3
for Movie Rental. Mobile Laptop is not
valued by respondents.
For comparison with the findings
of previous studies, we calculate the
own-price elasticity of the demand for
broadband Internet of –0.44, which is
less elastic than estimates using older