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US Broadband Penetration Slows to 41.5% - December 2003 Bandwidth Report

Summary: In Internet connected U.S. households, broadband penetration increased 0.62 percentage points to 41.5% in November 2003. 58.5% of US home users connect to the Internet with narrowband connections of 56Kbps or less.

Overall, broadband grew by 0.62 percentage points in November, with 41.5% of Internet-connected U.S. households enjoying a high-speed connection. 58.5% of US home users dial into the Internet with "narrowband" connections of 56Kbps or less. The charts below, derived from Nielsen//NetRatings, show trends in connection speeds to the Internet for users in the United States.*

Home Connectivity in the US

As of November 2003, most users in the US connect to the Internet using dial-up modems of 56Kbps or less. 48.9% use 56Kbps modems, 7.3% use 28/33.3Kbps, and 2.3% use 14.4Kbps modems. In total, 58.5% of home users in the US connect to the Internet at 56Kbps or less (see Figure 1).

Web Connection Speed Trends - Home Users (US)

Web Connection Speed Trends November 2003 - U.S. home users

Figure 1: Web Connection Speed Trends - Home Users (US)
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings

Broadband Growth in the US

Broadband penetration in US homes increased by 0.62 percentage points in November. As of November 2003 broadband penetration was at 41.5%, up from 40.9% in October. This is lower than the average increase in broadband of 0.73 percentage points per month from October 1999 to September 2003. Extrapolating the data provided by Nielsen//NetRatings, we estimate that broadband share in the US should exceed 50% by June of 2004 (see Figure 2).

Broadband Connection Speed Trend - Home Users (US)

Broadband Connection Speed Trend - November 2003 - U.S. home users

Figure 2: Broadband Connection Speed Trend - Home Users (US)
Extrapolated by Web Site Optimization, LLC from Nielsen//NetRatings data

Work Connectivity

Most workers in the US enjoy high-speed connections to the Internet. Most use a high-speed line such as a T1 connection, and share bandwidth between computers connected to an ethernet network. The speed of each connection decreases as more employees hook up to the LAN. As of November of 2003, of those connected to the Internet, 74.2% of US users at work enjoy a high-speed connection, up only 0.1% from 74.1% in October. 25.8% connect from work at 56Kbps or less (see Figure 3).

Web Connection Speed Trends - Work Users (US)

Web Connection Speed Trends - November 2003 - U.S. work users

Figure 3: Web Connection Speed Trends - Work Users (US)
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings

Further Reading

Broadband Adoption Slows
The FCC found fewer new subscribers in the first half of 2003. PC World, Dec. 22, 2003

*Note: "Users" signifies people connected to the Internet.

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By website optimization on 31 Dec 2003 PM

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