Overall, broadband grew by 0.82 percentage points in March, with 45.97% of active Internet users enjoying a high-speed connection. 54.03% of US home users dial into the Internet with "narrowband" connections of 56Kbps or less. Canada's broadband lead over the US shrank by 9.2%. While US broadband penetration grew by 12.2% over the past year, Canadian broadband penetration grew by just 3% from 64% to 67% over the same time period. The charts below, derived from Nielsen//NetRatings and Ipsos-Reid data, show trends in connection speeds to the Internet for users in the United States and Canada.*
As of March 2004, most users in the US connect to the Internet using dial-up modems of 56Kbps or less. 44.42% use 56Kbps modems, 6.88% use 28/33.3Kbps, and 2.73% use 14.4Kbps modems. In total. 54.03% of home users in the US connect to the Internet at 56Kbps or less (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Web Connection Speed Trends - Home Users (US)
Broadband penetration in the US increased by 0.82 percentage points in March. As of March 2004 broadband penetration was at 45.97%, up from 45.15% in February. This is higher than the average increase in broadband of 0.76 percentage points per month from October 1999 to February 2004. Extrapolating the data provided by Nielsen//NetRatings, broadband share in the US should exceed 50% by July of 2004 (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: Broadband Connection Speed Trend - Home Users (US)
Extrapolated from Nielsen//NetRatings data
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 March of 2004, of those connected to the Internet, 78.8% of US users at work enjoy a high-speed connection, up from 77.2% in February. 21.2% connect from work at 56Kbps or less (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: Web Connection Speed Trends - Work Users (US)
Over the past year, the US has narrowed the "broadband gap" with Canada by 9.2%. Since March 2003, US broadband penetration has grown by 12.2% from 33.8% to 46%, while Canadian broadband penetration has grown just 3%, from 64% to 67%. Canadian broadband penetration may be reaching a saturation point like Korea did when it reached 70% broadband penetration. Figure 4 compares the growth of broadband for US and Canadian home users.
*Note that Nielsen//NetRatings reports the percentage of active Internet users that use broadband from home, not broadband households. NetRatings uses a panel of 40,000 to 50,000 people with software meters installed on their computers. These meters detect connection speeds. Each month they do an enumeration study to call a number of people to calibrate the panel by adjusting weightings to match the population at large.
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By website optimization on 25 Apr 2004 PM