December 31, 2002, 12:00 AM

Broadband is a minority of users but majority of use

ComScore Networks reports that broadband users are 32% of the Internet market, but account for 51.4% of visitors to web sites.

Retailers who once were cautious about loading up their web sites for fear of alienating narrowband users may find justification for fancy graphics in new research from comScore Networks Inc.’s Media Metrix division. ComScore reports that users who access the Internet via a broadband connection are more likely to buy and shop online than other Internet users.

Broadband users make up 32% of the total market-46 million out of a total Internet population of 142.7 million-yet they account for 51.4% of visitors to retailing web sites, Media Metrix says. Even at the most popular sites, where sheer numbers of visitors would say that most are coming over narrowband, broadband use is out of proportion to the total market. At eBay, for instance, broadband users are 41% of all users. At Amazon and Yahoo Shopping, they account for 45% of users. At the American Greetings sites, they are 40.8% of users.

Media Metrix also reports that broadband Internet users are responsible for 49% of pages viewed online, 44% of total usage minutes a month and they access the Internet every day vs. the average of 18 days a month for a dial-up user. Not surprisingly, Media Metrix also reports that 86% of work users go online over high-speed connections.

Another survey that came out at the end of last year from Nielsen/-NetRatings reports that U.S. Internet users increased their time on the web 7.7% from May until October. U.S. Internet users logged the second-longest average time online per month-after Hong Kong-spending 12 hours, 6 minutes on the Internet in October, up from 11 hours, 15 minutes in May. The average at-home user goes online 20 times a month, visits 50 domains and views 807 pages for an average of 48 seconds per page. The average user views 39 pages per online session during the average half-hour session. At-home users average 10 hours, 30 minutes a month.

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