China will pass the US in total broadband subscribers by the end of 2006. The US fell to 19th overall in broadband penetration worldwide, and is in danger of being passed by Slovenia in early 2007. Meanwhile, in December 2005 US broadband penetration broke 65% for the first time among active Internet users.
As higher bandwidth content streams to more bandwidth-hungry users quality of service can suffer. Some industry experts are wondering if the Net can scale to handle the load. Meanwhile, the rural-urban broadband penetration gap is closing in America.
Podcasting is taking off and iPods are seemingly ubiquitous. Unique users of Apple's iTunes player should pass RealPlayer by mid-2006 with nearly 30 million users in the US alone. People are tuning in over twice as long with iTunes than with RealPlayer or Windows Media Player. As broadband penetration increases we are spending more time on our computers.
US broadband penetration will break 70% this month among active Internet users, according to projections from WebSiteOptimization.com. The US has narrowed the gap with Canada in broadband penetration. In the US, cable is losing its dominance over DSL for Internet service.
President Bush's goal of universal broadband access for all Americans by 2007 appears to be in doubt, according to a recent GAO report. Between 42% to 48% of online Americans subscribe to a broadband service, according to two surveys. Among active Internet users, US broadband penetration broke 70% for the first time in April 2006. In Europe, slow adoption among new member states has created a two-speed European Union.
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.
Despite leading the world in broadband subscribers, the US dropped from 17th to 20th place in broadband penetration over the past year. Falling behind Sweden, the UK, and tiny Luxembourg the US grew by only 27.1% to 44.5% penetration from March 2005 to March 2006. Meanwhile, US broadband penetration among active Internet users grew 1.34 percentage points to 73.1% in June 2006.
New Jersey edged out Hawaii for the highest broadband penetration rate in the US. 48.6% of New Jersey residents enjoy broadband, well above the national average of 35.1%. Workplace broadband broke 90% for the first time in July, while video and VOIP traffic surged.
The broadband gap in Europe is widening, according to a recent survey. While Denmark, the Netherlands, and Finland top the EU, Greece, Poland, and Slovakia are trailing in broadband penetration. Meanwhile in the US, broadband penetration among active Internet users neared 75% in August 2006.
China will pass the US in total broadband lines by the third quarter of 2006. UK broadband penetration will nearly double by 2008 and US broadband penetration among active Internet users broke 75% in September 2006.
The UK passed Japan and the US in broadband penetration during the first quarter of 2006. The UK's faster growth rate propelled it to second place in the G7, behind first place Canada. US broadband penetration grew only 0.27% among active Internet users to 76.6% in October 2006.
iTunes users grew by nearly 69% over the past year, but by only 26% since January. Among the big four streaming media players, only RealPlayer showed significant growth compared to Apple since the beginning of 2006.