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.
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.
President Bush’s goal of universal broadband access for all Americans by 2007 appears to be overly optimistic, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. The GAO study found that only 28% of Americans had broadband in 2005.