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Study: Broadband follows the money

Mon, 01/10/2005 - 7:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

States that lead in broadband penetration tend also to be home to the wealthiest consumers, a new report shows.

According to Leichtman Research Group (LRG), Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, California and New York led the continental U.S. with a high-speed Internet subscriber penetration rate of 32.3 percent (as of July 2004). Those states also rank among the top ten in per capita income ($36,000) and have an aggregate per capita income that's 14 percent above the U.S. average.

In comparison, the bottom five broadband states (Mississippi, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota and New Mexico) have a cumulative per capita income 20 percent below average, and cumulative per capita income of $25,200. Those states combined for a broadband penetration rate of just 11.6 percent, according to LRG, which based its findings on internal data and information culled from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Federal Communications Commission.

"The rapid acceptance of high-speed Internet in the U.S. continues to follow a classic consumer adoption curve, being led by those with higher incomes," observed LRG President and Principal Analyst Bruce Leichtman.

As of mid-2004, the U.S. residential broadband penetration rate was 25 percent. LRG estimates that Hawaii has the highest overall broadband penetration among all 50 states. Alaska, Connecticut and Colorado, however, led the way in incremental broadband growth.

On the speed front, LRG said cable is outpacing DSL, finding that 94 percent of residential cable lines are capable of more than 200 kbps upstream and downstream, compared to 29 percent of DSL lines.

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