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Study: 68 M Americans log on at high-speed

Tue, 04/20/2004 - 8:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

Reports that broadband has reached critical mass keep rolling in.

The latest to make that claim is The Pew Internet & American Life Project, which reports that as of March 1, about 68 million U.S. adults use high-speed connections at work or at home.

About 48 million in that group have broadband at home, up 60 percent from a year ago, said the research firm, which surveyed 2,204 Americans age 18 and over between Feb. 3 and March 1, 2004.

Though broadband is becoming the norm "for the wealthier and better educated in America, as well as long-time Internet users," evidence now shows that high-speed is beginning to penetrate a larger base of novice Internet users as well, the report adds.

DSL also is making up some of the ground it lost to cable modem services early on. Pew Internet estimates that DSL now enjoys a 42 percent share of the home broadband market, up from 28 percent in March 2003. Cable still led the way at 54 percent by March 2004. About 3 percent used wireless or fixed-satellite gear for high-speed access.

Though DSL has been aggressive with pricing, survey respondents now say that was a primary consideration. Sixty percent said they decided to switch from dial-up to broadband because of the speed benefit.

Pew Internet also asked respondents what they currently pay for high-speed access. The average monthly bill was $39. DSL users reported they pay an average of $38 per month, while cable modem subs paid about $41 per month.

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