Cheap Access Ups Broadband Rate

NEW YORK The falling cost of broadband Internet access has increased the number of Americans accessing the Web from high-speed connections 16 percent this year, according to research.

Nielsen//NetRatings, which is partially owned by Adweek parent VNU, reported that in August 121 million Americans had broadband access, up from 103.8 million in the beginning of the year. The research firm said 60 percent of Internet users now have high-speed connections.

Overall, 42 percent of U.S. households have broadband Internet, up from 36 percent at the beginning of the year.

Faster connections allow Web publishers and advertisers to offer more video content, while also causing people to spend more time online due to the “always-on” nature of broadband connectivity.

Nielsen//NetRatings said low-cost broadband options, such as SBC and Verizon offers of DSL service for as little as $15 per month, would continue to increase penetration.