July 24, 2002, 12:00 AM

Internet broadband access is broader than expected, eMarketer reports

Worldwide broadband Internet access will grow to 53 million users this year from 32.6 million at the end of last year, says eMarketer. U.S. broadband use will grow to 20.4 million from 13.5 million.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

The market for broadband Internet access is booming, says a new report from researchers eMarketer Inc. Worldwide broadband Internet access will grow to 53 million users this year from 32.6 million at the end of last year, 62% growth, says eMarketer’s new Broadband & Dial-up Access Report. U.S. broadband use will grow to 20.4 million this year from 13.5 million at the end of last year, 77% growth. At the end of 2000, 15 million consumers worldwide and 7.6 million in North America had broadband access. Growth from 2000 through the end of this year will 254% worldwide and 168% in North America.

" I don`t know why commentators constantly complain about the lack of broadband adoption in the US. The residential sector grew over 80% between 2000 and 2001," said Ben Macklin, eMarketer`s senior technology analyst. "I`d characterize that as significant."

The spread of broadband Internet access affects content at retail web sites, allowing merchants to deploy 3-D views or video information with confidence that a significant number of customers will be able to view the content.

By the end of next year, eMarketer expects worldwide broadband users to reach 80 million, with 28.6 million in North America. The market will continue to expand, reaching over 117 million worldwide in 2004. eMarketer says.

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