51% of US Domestic Internet Access Now Broadband

Dial-up internet connections are now in the minority in the US, as 51% of connections are now made through broadband links. The progress has been fast – last month it was 49%, and this time last year only 38% of domestic users had broadband.

63 million home users now connect to the internet through broadband using cable modems, ADSL or other variants, contrasted with 61.3 million on dial-up.

The figures come from a new Neilsen//NetRatings charting the growth of broadband against the decline of dial-up internet access. Broadband access has risen 47% year on year against dial-up’s 13% decline.

Marc Ryan, senior director of analysis at Nielsen//NetRatings said “What this is really pointing to is the fact that consumers are taking advantage of broadband, that there are lots of incentives for them to sign up for broadband. The opportunity here for marketers is to present customers with a richer environment to interact with advertising and with brands. In order to truly experience the Internet at its best these days, a broadband connection is almost a must.”

New demand is slowing for the time being, though we thing that won’t be for long. The total number of American’ accessing the internet grew only 10% from 113 million in July 2003 to 124 million July 2004, out of a population of 281 million, though a fall in the cost of broadband services coupled with the subsequent increase in rich content may well spur a second growth phase for the internet.

The Neilsen report

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?