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Home Broadband Growth Doubles with 42% of all Americans on High-Speed - DSL overtakes Cable - US Broadband Penetration Jumps to 71.8% Among Active Internet Users - June 2006 Bandwidth Report

Summary: Home broadband adoption has doubled over the past two years with 42% of all Americans using a high-speed connection at home. Broadband is fueling a digital renaissance with 35% of all Internet users posting content to the Internet, most of which are on broadband. DSL has passed cable in the US, and broadband penetration among active Internet users jumped 1.3 percentage points to 71.76% in May 2006.

Home broadband users grew by 40% from March 2005 to March 2006 in the US, twice the growth rate of the year before. As of March 2006, 42% of all Americans had a broadband connection at home, according to a recent study by Pew Internet (Horrigan 2006). 35% of all Internet users have posted content to the Internet, with the majority of new content posted by broadband users. DSL has passed cable in the US, and broadband penetration among active Internet users jumped 1.32 percentage points to 71.76% in May 2006.

Home Broadband Growth Doubles with 42% of all Americans on High-Speed Internet Connections

The number of Americans who have broadband at home jumped from 60 million in March 2005 to 84 million in March 2006, an increase of 40%. This is double the increase over last year of 20% from March 2004 to March 2005. At current growth rates WSO projects that broadband penetration among all Americans should break 50% by January 2007 (see Figure 1).

Home Broadband Penetration Trend (US)

home broadband penetration trend us may 2006

Figure 1: Home Broadband Penetration Trend (US)
Source: Pew Internet and Website Optimization

DSL overtakes Cable in the US

In a dramatic reversal of fortunes, DSL has overtaken cable in US broadband share. As of March 2006, DSL connections made up half (50%) of all home broadband connections while cable modems had a 41% share (see Figure 2). This is in stark contrast to cable's 67% share in March 2003. This trend of higher DSL subscribers versus cable mirrors European broadband trends. Fixed wireless is coming on strong with 8% of home users Wi-Fing onto broadband.

Home Broadband Composition Trend (US)

home broadband composition trend us 2002-2006

Figure 2: Home Broadband Composition Trend (US)
Source: Pew Internet "Home Broadband Adoption," May 28, 2006, used with permission

Home Connectivity in the US

US broadband penetration among active Internet users grew to 71.76% in May 2006. Narrowband users connecting at 56Kbps or less now comprise 28.24% of active Internet users, down 1.32 percentage points from 29.56% in April (see Figure 3).

Web Connection Speed Trends - Home Users (US)

Web Connection Speed Trends May 2006 - U.S. home users

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

Broadband Growth Trends in the US

In May 2006, broadband penetration in US homes jumped 1.32 percentage points to 71.76% up from 70.44% in April. This increase of 1.32 points is above the average increase in broadband of 1.11 points per month over the last six months (see Figure 4). At current growth rates US broadband should break 80% among active Internet users by December 2006.

Broadband Adoption Growth Trend - Home Users (US)

Broadband Adoption Growth Trend - May 2006 - U.S. home users

Figure 4: Broadband Adoption Growth Trend - Home Users (US)
Extrapolated from Nielsen//NetRatings data

Work Connectivity

As of May 2006, 89.52% of US workers use broadband, down 0.15 percentage points from the 89.67% share in April. At work 10.48% connect at 56Kbps or less (see Figure 5).

Web Connection Speed Trends - Work Users (US)

Web Connection Speed Trends - May 2006 - U.S. work users

Figure 5: Web Connection Speed Trends - Work Users (US)
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings

Further Reading

Horrigan, J. (2006), Home Broadband Adoption 2006
The number of home broadband users in the US grew from 60 million in March 2005 to 84 million in March 2006, a jump of 40%. This is twice the rate of increase in broadband over March 2004 to March 2005. DSL overtook cable in September 2005 with DSL now comprising 50% of broadband connections while 41% use cable. Pew's report shows that broadband is driving more extensive use of the Internet. 35% of Internet users have posted content to the Internet, with 73% of these users on broadband. Pew Internet & American Life Project, May 28, 2006.
Nielsen//NetRatings
Provided the US broadband penetration data for active Internet users for the Bandwidth Report.

*Note that Nielsen//NetRatings NetSpeed report determines the connection speeds of the Digital Media Universe, which combines Web traffic, Internet applications and proprietary channels.

By website optimization on 15 Jun 2006 AM

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