Thursday, March 16, 2006

Two-Thirds of US Web Users Now on Broadband

Two-Thirds of US Web Users Now On Broadband

MARCH 16, 2006

A recent Comcast television commercial for its broadband services shows two turtles discussing the attributes of dial-up. These creatures may soon be the only non-broadband users left.

According to Nielsen//NetRatings, the number of active US broadband users from home increased by 28% last year, rising from 74.3 million in February 2005 to 95.5 million in February 2006.

While overall Internet penetration in the US has stabilized over the past few years, reaching 74% of households in February 2006, broadband penetration has risen steadily over the past four years.

From February 2003 to February 2004, US broadband users as a percentage of Internet users grew by 12 percentage points, and in February 2005 it increased another 10 percentage points. This year broadband users as a proportion of all Internet users increased an impressive 13 percentage points over the previous February, as 68% of all US Internet users reportedly connected via broadband.


As broadband penetration increases, so does the average time users spent on their PCs. That's because with faster connections users are devoting more time to online photos, audio and video sites — which previous required slow downloads. Since February 2003, the average PC time per person among active Web users has increased approximately five hours from 25.5 hours a month to 30.5 hours a month.

"The correlated growth in average PC time per person is the result of broadband users' greater satisfaction with their online experience," said Jon Gibs of Nielsen//NetRatings. "The 'always on' nature of a broadband connection allows the Internet to become more entrenched in consumers' lives."

With increased broadband penetration, Nielsen//NetRatings reports a growing trend toward accessing streaming media online at video sharing sites.

MSN Video garnered 9.3 million unique visitors in February 2006, growing 44% over the previous year. YouTube and Google Video grew from relative obscurity to substantial players, and iFilm and Yahoo's video search saw triple digit year-over-year growth.


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