WATPA: FW: Broadband Surges in 2002, But Narrowband Declines

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From: Norm Jacknis (norm@jacknis.com)
Date: Fri Jan 17 2003 - 23:42:03 EST

Broadband Surges in 2002, But Narrowband Declines

By Thor Olavsrud

Broadband access in the United States surged in 2002, growing fastest among
both the oldest Internet users and the youngest, according to a new report

The company Wednesday reported that broadband access at home posted a 59
percent year-over-year increase in 2002, bringing the total number of U.S.
users who accessed the Web via high-speed connections to more than 33.6
in Dec. 2002.

While broadband saw its fortunes rising, narrowband connections began to
ground in 2002, declining 10 percent during the course of the year to about
74.4 million users by the end of December.

"2002 marked an entire year of decline for narrowband usage at home," said
Bloom, senior Internet analyst at Nielsen/NetRatings. "As the broadband
infrastructure continues to expand across the U.S., we expect to see the
mainstream online population convert to higher speeds."

Nielsen/NetRatings also found that the fastest growing user population for
broadband access in the U.S. was composed of 55- to 64-year-olds, which
78 percent to about 2.9 million in 2002. Not far behind were 50- to 54-year-
olds (climbing 75 percent to 3.1 million), and 65- to 99-year-olds (climbing
percent to 1.2 million).

"Members of Generation A have traditionally been late adopters of the
and technology overall, but it looks like this surfing demographic is
catching the high-speed wave," Bloom said. "Cost is still an issue for many
users looking to upgrade to fatter pipes, especially the senior population.
Barriers such as fixed incomes and lack of familiarity with online
and community pose difficult obstacles."

The next fastest growing populations are some of the Internet's youngest
with 12- to 17-year-olds growing 66 percent to 4.1 million, and 2- to
olds growing 62 percent to 2.9 million. The latter group shared the same
rate with 35- to 49-year-olds, who climbed to 10.1 million users over the
course of the year.

The slowest growing groups were 18- to 20-year-olds, who spiked 47 percent
1.6 million over the course of the year; 25- to 34-year-olds who grew 45
percent to 5.8 million; and 21- to 24-year-olds brought up the rear, growing
percent to 1.4 million.

Nielsen/NetRatings also found that broadband users spent more time online
narrowband users, and also conducted more online visits and viewed more Web
pages during a month. The company said broadband users averaged 17 hours and
minutes online in December, while dial-up users averaged less than 10 hours
the same period. Additionally, Nieslen/NetRatings said broadband users made
about 15 more visits to the Internet per month than their narrowband
counterparts, and viewed an average of 1,300 pages per person, more than
the number of pages viewed by narrowband users.

January 15, 2003

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