For fuck's sake... where in TFS or TFA was causation mentioned?
Having a correlation between two data sets opens the door for more research on that matter. Nobody said "THIS is because of THAT", but rather "THIS and THAT scale similarly, hmm..." which is a totally different thing.
So this finding might be further correlated with the following:
- given the same amount of time spent on the Internet (say 1h/day as base value), the amount of information retrieved from the Internet scales with broadband speed.
- saving said information for later review (e.g. e-books, audiobooks, video files) increases the amount of information available offline which initially came from online sources.
- the average wait time before someone gets bored and closes a potentially helpful webpage which for some reason doesn't load quickly enough.
I agree that this simple correlation is not causation, but a web of such positive correlations might as well lay the foundation for an undeniable causation.
One more thing: for the love of _$deity_, don't look at historical datasets! Comparing the 80s data with current data is comparing apples and oranges.