Broadband Usage in United States By Enrique De Argaez,
Nielsen//NetRatings, the global standard
for Internet audience measurement and analysis, reports that in
2003 the United States had 39 million, or 13 percent of
Americans, connecting via broadband in the U.S. Broadband users at-home grew 49 percent
year-over-year, while narrowband users declined 12 percent during
May 2003 (see Table 1).
Despite higher growth rates for
broadband, there were nearly twice as many narrowband users as
broadband users in the U.S.
Narrowband users then outweighed broadband users with 69.6
Table 1. Internet Connection
Speed Growth Rates (U.S., At-Home)
Yankee Group estimates that the current
26.2 million broadband households in the USA of 2003 will grow to
61.5 million by 2008.
Table 2. Projected U.S.
Broadband Usage, At-Home, 2002-2008
Note: includes cable modem,
DSL, T1 lines, broadband wireless,
satellite, first mile fiber, and powerline broadband.
Source: Yankee Group, August 2003
San Diego, Phoenix and Detroit Lead Broadband
Wired Cities in the United States
Nielsen//NetRatings, the global
standard for Internet audience measurement and analysis, reported
the top local markets connected via broadband at-home during the
month of August 2004. Tracking 35 local markets in the U.S.,
Nielsen//NetRatings found that the cities of San Diego, Phoenix,
Detroit, New York and Sacramento represented the top five wired
local markets connected via broadband access with penetration
rates of 65 percent or higher
The US Commerce Department has published a
report on 2004 Broadband use in the United States
Broadband in Other World
In Europe, in Asia, and everywhere
Broadband is also gaining users daily. Figures for selected
countries are given below, from International Telecommunication
Union (ITU) data and other trustworthy sources regarding
broadband users. The table will grow as more data becomes
For the year end of 2003 there will be more than 100 million
broadband lines worldwide. This conclusion is based on Point
Topics full analysis of the broadband statistics for
end-September 2003. It includes all kinds of mass-market
broadband services - whether over the telephone network (DSL),
over cable TV networks (via cable modems) or over fibre-optic
The Q3 2003 results show that the worldwide total of broadband
lines grew to 89.4m, an increase of 10m from the 79.4m lines at
the end of June. Maintaining the same percentage growth in the
fourth quarter of 2003 will have taken the worldwide number past
100m. In fact growth in the fourth quarter is usually faster than
in the third.
This means that broadband is clearly established as one of the
fastest growing new technologies in history. Broadband is growing
much faster than mobile phone usage did - so far at least. It
took mobile phones about 5.5 years to grow from 10m to 100m
worldwide. Broadband has achieved the same growth in only 3.5
Other major broadband developments in 2003 include:
The market is maturing. Broadband is not just an oddity in a few
unusual countries any more. All the worlds major economies - the
Group of Seven countries plus China - are now in the top ten as
far as the total number of broadband lines is concerned.
China is rapidly becoming the worlds biggest broadband power.
With over 17m broadband lines today, it will overtake even the
Growth in Korea is levelling off. Korea is still the world
leader in broadband take-up, with over 25 broadband lines for
every 100 people. But the number of new lines added is relatively
small now and the main emphasis is on migrating customers to
Broadband prices have been reduced sharply. For example, the
major DSL operators cut their prices by 25% on average in the
year to September 2003. This is an important factor driving
Some broadband value-added services are starting to take off.
One leading example is the boom in voice-over-IP services in
Japan. Broadband service providers such as Yahoo BB and others
are now cutting deeply into NTTs voice revenues with over 5m
customers for low-cost telephone service.
The cable networks are losing market share of broadband - but
only slowly. Telco price cutting, wider coverage and greater
financial strength means that DSL is showing bigger precentage
increases than cable in most countries.
The United Kingdom now has four million broadband
subscribers, according to the latest figures from industry
In its latest Internet and
Broadband Brief, Ofcom
says that there are 2,450,000 ADSL users and an estimated
1,540,000 cable subscribers. These figures do not include
businesses with leased lines.
In Hungary Broadband usage is up, according to a report from the
Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH). As of the end of last
year, the number of broadband subscribers in the country has
increased from 63,000 to 260,000.
Some 63.8 million people around the
world are now connected to the Internet via DSL, reports DSL Forum, based
in Fremont, Calif., a consortium of companies promoting use of
the standard. The figures show that DSL attracted 28 million new
subscribers during 2003.
U.S. DSL growth in the last six months of 2003 resulted in 1.9
million homes and businesses signing up. Canada had more than
440,000 new DSL subscribers in the year, making it the
eleventh-largest growth country in the world in DSL.
In terms of penetration, South Korea, with 27.7 DSL
connections per 100 phone lines, led the world. Next was Taiwan,
with 21.4 connections per 100 phone lines, Japan with 14.4, and
Canada with 10.9. The United States has 4.8 DSL connections per
100 phone lines.
In total connections, China ranked first in the world in DSL
connections, with more than 10.95 million subscribers, followed
closely by Japan, with 10.2 million and the United States, with
9.1 million. Canada was in ninth place, with 2.1-million
At a 10.9-per-cent penetration of phone lines, DSL services in
Canada are halfway to the DSL Forum's mass-market target of 20
per cent by year-end 2005. The United States reached almost 5 per
cent phone-line penetration at the end of 2003.
Forum's global target is 200-million DSL subscribers —
20 per cent of all phone lines worldwide— by the end of
About the Author: Enrique De Argaez is the webmaster of the "Internet World Stats" website. Since
2000 he has been collecting Internet Usage Statistics, and
publishing the data for over 233 countries and regions of the
world for free use by the academia, the global business community
and the general public. For more information on Internet World
Usage, please visit: http://www.InternetWorldStats.com