Before MediaOne Group was swallowed by AT&T, their tagline was, "This is Broadband. This is the way." Consumer use seems to indicate the company was right.

Excite@Home conducted a study which shows that broadband users are more highly educated, earn more money and have more Internet experience than those who access the Internet via dial-up connections. The statistics also indicate that broadband is increasingly entering the Internet mainstream, as indicated by a marked decline in the average annual income of @Home users and an increase in the proportion of female broadband surfers.

A few of the study's statistics, which examined broadband, dial-up and @Home-specific user demographics for the year 2000, include:

* 43% of broadband users have at minimum a college degree, compared to 39% of dial-up users.

* The total gross household income of broadband users is $77,000, compared to $67,000 for dial-up customers. The average household income of @Home subscribers was $80,000, compared to more than $86,000 the previous year.

* Broadband users spend an average of 14 hours per week online, compared to 10 hours per week for dial-up users — a 40% difference.

* The percentage of women using the @Home service has increased by 13% over last year, from 32% to 36%.

``The early adopters of broadband were typically tech-savvy, highly educated, affluent, single men. What our studies demonstrate is that broadband has moved from a niche product to a largely mainstream product, appealing to a broad range of Internet users,'' said Byron Smith, executive vice president, consumer broadband services and chief marketing officer for Excite@Home, in a statement. ``We now have nearly three million subscribers for our @Home service, a 200% increase over subscriber totals at the end of 1999. As this growth continues to accelerate, we will continue to see signs that broadband service is being embraced and actively sought by a wide spectrum of the population.''

The Gartner Group is planning its own multi-client study that will survey a cross-section of approximately 50 North American service providers to determine their deployment strategies for broadband access technologies in the next five years.

Sponsorship opportunities for this project are limited. The study is scheduled to begin in February 2001 and results are scheduled for release by July 2001. The study findings will be made available only to the sponsors. For more information on participating in the study, contact Robert Martin at 919/855-6850 or