Broadband Gains Momentum in Large U.S. Markets

NEW YORK Broadband has eclipsed narrowband usage in San Diego and is poised to do the same in Boston and New York, among other major markets, according to a report released today from comScore Networks.

As can be expected, broadband usage is more prevalent in larger cities, with about 40 percent of Internet users in the top 50 markets choosing high-speed over dial-up connections. Nationally, broadband penetration is 36 percent.

Fifty-two percent of Web surfers in San Diego had a high-speed connection in the fourth quarter, according to Reston, Va.-based comScore. Meanwhile, 50 percent of Boston’s Internet population and 49 percent of New York’s had a broadband subscription. Other cities with broadband penetration of 44 percent or more include Los Angeles, San Francisco,Detroit, Kansas City, Orlando, Fla., and Providence, R.I.

By contrast, only three top-25 markets were counted among the top narrowband markets: St. Louis, Sacramento, Calif., and Indianapolis. Albuquerque, N.M., has been one of the slowest to adopt broadband; 76 percent of the city’s Internet users accessed the Web via a dial-up connection in the fourth quarter, according to comScore. Grand Rapids, Mich., and Harrisburg, Pa., are other cities that continue to have a high percentage of narrowband users.

The comScore survey also found that nearly one in four Internet users intend to switch ISPs in the next six months. One of the most commonly cited reasons for changing ISPs was the desire for a faster connection. Another popular reason: price.