Broadband overtakes narrowband


Sixty-three million Web users connected to the Internet via broadband during July 2004 as compared to 61.3 million accessing the Internet through narrowband. Overall growth for broadband connections rose 47 percent year-over-year, while narrowband dropped 13 percent annually. “Despite a plateau in the growth of U.S. Internet access, we’ve seen continued high double-digit growth in users’ broadband access,” said Marc Ryan, senior director and analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings. “We expect to see this aggressive growth rate continue through next year when the majority of Internet users will be accessing the Internet via a broadband connection.” Clearly this is not good news for America Onine, NetZero and other narrowband providers. On the flipside, I think the big players – both cable and DSL – have started to realize some of the gains from their earlier investments. That said, my gut feeling is that overall growth is going to slow because there are certain parts of the country where broadband is not available as yet. Rural communities are still struggling to get broadband. “There are now close to 30 million households with broadband, and that’s a pretty robust number,” Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research told Reuters. “It’s not that the market is saturated, but clearly we’ve gone well past the low-hanging fruit.”

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