US broadband penetration broke 80% among active Internet users for the first time in February. Although broadband uptake has slowed over the past two quarters, US broadband growth shows no signs of a saturated plateau. North of the border, Canadians spend more time online than any other country, according to comScore Networks. Canadians view over one-third more web pages than the average US user, holding a 14 point lead in broadband penetration over the US.
The US fell from 23rd to 25th place in worldwide broadband penetration in the last half of 2006, according to a recent survey by Point Topic. OECD data confirms the slowdown, with the US falling to 15th in broadband penetration among OECD countries surveyed. US broadband penetration grew 0.65 percentage points to 80.81% among active Internet users in March.
Users of iTunes grew by 47.5% over the past year, while the other streaming media players had single-digit growth. At current growth rates iTunes users will exceed RealPlayer users by the second quarter of 2007 (see Figure 1). European broadband growth has decreased in recent months. US broadband growth slowed a bit in January, growing by 0.62% percentage points to 79.1% among active Internet users.
Despite President Bush’s promise of universal access to broadband by 2007 there are still areas within the US that have little or no coverage, according to DSLReports.com. In the UK, broadband has become cheaper than dial-up access according to Silicon.com. Meanwhile in the US broadband grew to 78.5% in December among active Internet users.
Users of Apple’s iTunes player grew by nearly 69% over the past year (see Figure 1), 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. Broadband growth continued its steady climb in November, growing by 1.1% percentage points to 77.7% among active Internet users.
The UK passed Japan and the US in broadband penetration in the first quarter of 2006 (see Figure 1). Among G7 countries, only Canada had a higher broadband penetration rate, according to a recent broadband survey by OECD. The UK’s faster growth rate, over twice that of Japan, propelled it past Japan around March of 2006 (see Figure 2). Meanwhile in the US, broadband growth slowed in October, growing only 0.27% percentage points to 76.6% among active Internet users over the past month.
China will pass the US in total broadband lines by the third quarter of 2006 to have the largest subscriber base in the world (see Figure 1). The US and China are followed by Japan, South Korea, Germany, and France in total broadband lines per country.
Sixty-four million people now have broadband access across the 25 countries of the European Union – but the gap between the best and worst performers is widening (see Figure 1). Denmark, the Netherlands, and Finland lead the European Union in broadband penetration while Greece, Slovakia, and Poland trail according to a recent broadband survey by ECTA. Back in the US, broadband penetration among active Internet users neared 75% in August 2006.
New Jersey edged out Hawaii to lead all states in broadband penetration with 48.6% of NJ households subscribing to a high speed connection. Mississippi trails all states with 14.4% of households on broadband at the beginning of 2006. Meanwhile, workplace broadband penetration broke 90% for the first time in July 2006. US broadband penetration among active Internet users grew 0.76 percentage points to 73.86% in July 2006.
Despite leading the world in broadband subscribers, the US dropped from 17th to 20th place in broadband penetration over the past year (see Figures 1 & 2). Due to its slower growth rate the US fell behind Sweden, the UK, and even tiny Luxembourg in broadband uptake from March 2005 to March 2006, according to Point Topic. Meanwhile, US broadband penetration among active Internet users grew 1.34 percentage points to 73.1% in June 2006.