Nielsen: Broadband Use on the Rise

NEW YORK There’s a reason that word “broadband” keeps coming up. Nearly three-quarters of Internet-connected households accessed the Web using a broadband connection last month, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

Broadband penetration continues to rise rapidly; the 72 percent figure seen in May is up 15 percentage points compared to the same month last year (57 percent). New broadband users tend to be former dial-up users, as dial-up penetration dropped by 15 percentage points over the same period of time, going from 43 percent to 28 percent.

Now, more that 102 million homes connect to the Web at speeds higher than the traditional dial-up rate of 56K, said Nielsen//NetRatings, a 30 percent increase versus the 79 million households seen a year ago. Conversely, the number of dial-up homes decreased from over 58 million a year ago to just over 40 million, a decline of 31 percent.

Analysts expect broadband’s growth trajectory to continue upward for a while, as users are increasingly attracted to the Web’s growing choice of multimedia applications that work best at high speed.

“Although we are not seeing the explosive month-over-month growth we once were, the market for broadband Internet connection has not yet reached saturation,” said Jon Gibs, senior director of media at Nielsen//NetRatings.