The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (subscription required) has an article about how broadband is quickly getting embedded into our lives, and changing how we interact, shop, research and communicate. With tyranny of dial-up over, more than 53 percent americans use broadband for as AJC calls it, “for living.” One in four Americans now has a high-speed Internet connection at home, up about 60 percent from 2003, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. According to comScore Networks, three major cities — San Diego, New York and Boston — have more broadband than dial-up users. “Almost everything you can think of, once they have a broadband connection, they’re more likely to do it (online),” Greg Bloom, senior analyst at Nielsen NetRatings told AJC.
Analysts draw a direct connection between broadband and sharp increase in online retail. Online purchases will account for 12 percent of total retail sales by 2009, up from about 7 percent now, Forrester Research predicts. Forty-three percent of broadband households made an online purchase in the first quarter of 2004, while only 25 percent of dial-up households did, according to comScore. Those high-speed households on average spent $319 — about 40 percent more than dial-up, according to the article. AJC writes, “High-speed connections allow consumers to take a virtual tour of a home, change the upholstery on a couch with a click or dress a my-sized mannequin in a killer halter top.” What I like is that this article pulls together all the disparate pieces of information which at first blush are not related, but weaves them together to make a convincing case for the growing importance of broadband in our lives.