The funny thing about surveys is you always end up wondering who exactly participated, particularly when the responses are quirky. Perhaps some of you will think exactly that upon learning that a new study of nearly 900 Americans supposedly reveals just how dependent we've become as a nation on Wi-Fi connectivity. How dependent? Well, three out of every 10 survey takers said they simply can't go even just a full hour without a Wi-Fi connection. Exactly what would happen to them at the 61-minute mark is a mystery -- spontaneous combustion, perhaps? -- but what's interesting is just how important Wi-Fi has become in people's daily lives.
Try this on for size. For as many Starbucks as there are, 39 percent of respondents said they'd be willing to give up coffee for Wi-Fi connectivity, if they had to. Some 57 percent said they'd stay away from Twitter for a month in exchange for wireless Internet, 50 percent would avoid Facebook, and a full 60 percent claimed they couldn't manage a full day without Wi-Fi access before seeking out a connection (therapy might be more appropriate).
"Wi-Fi has become the connectivity equivalent to coffee," muses Michael Hurlston, Senior Vice President, Mobile & Wireless Group, Broadcom. "But legacy Wi-Fi wasn't built to handle the explosion of video consumption and the growing number of wireless devices being used today. To satisfy peoples' dependence on Wi-Fi, we need faster, broader, further-reaching and more energy-efficient Wi-Fi - 5G WiFi."
Suddenly the survey begins to make sense. As Maximum PC's Deputy Editor Gordon Mah Ung observes, this is all "a bit like the cattle industry doing a survey saying American's prefer to chickens." Valid point, don't you think?
Vested interest or not, Broadcom's survey results are interesting, if not amusing for the fact that Wi-Fi has become so damned important in such a relatively short period of time. What are your thoughts on all this? Are you as addicted to Wi-Fi as some of the survey respondents are? How long do you think you could go without wireless connectivity for all of your stationary and mobile devices?