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BizReport : Research archives : July 04, 2007

U.S. broadband adoption slows

Broadband in U.S. households is becoming increasingly common, says a new report by Pew Internet & American Life Project, but some households are still missing out.

by Helen Leggatt

Over 70 percent of U.S. households have an internet connection. Of those that do, 47 percent have high-speed broadband Internet access, according to Pew’s most recent study. However, growth is slowing and for some residents, mainly rural and poorer communities, high-speed broadband is still not an option.

Home high-speed broadband usage figures, while still rising, are at their lowest growth rate in five years. The year to March, 2007, saw a rise of just 12 percent compared to 40 percent the previous year.

"I think we're at a point where many people in the upper socioeconomic groups now have broadband," said John Horrigan, associate director for research at Pew. "You'd expect to see growth continue, but it's going to be in fits and starts."

Urban areas and affluent households are the most common users of broadband with around 52 percent of urban and 49 percent of suburban residents having high-speed connections. In contrast, only 31 percent of rural Americans have it.

Those with limited household incomes will need to be convinced that broadband is worth the monthly cost of $20-$40, said Horrigan.

Tags: broadband, Pew Internet, research, U.S.

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