April 11, 2003, 12:00 AM

Broadband to reach one third of U.S. households by 2005, says eMarketer

Broadband penetration is slated to soar in the next decade, reaching one third of U.S. households as it finds increasing utility beyond information and shopping.

Broadband Internet will reach about one-third of U.S. households by 2005, according to new research from eMarketer, propelled in part by applications that go beyond the PC and web browser.

Estimated to be in about 22% of U.S. households currently, broadband is expected to grow in the next decade as it increasingly finds new uses. “Microsoft’s Xbox game is a good example. It uses a high-speed connection to combine entertainment and communication among its users,” says eMarketer senior analyst Ben Macklin. As another example of broadband’s growing penetration, Macklin notes AOL’s recent commitment to a $35 million branding campaign for broadband and its focus on creating content that can drive broadband subscriptions.

While the number of North American households with broadband is projected to reach 42.6 million by 2002, projected broadband penetration in the Asia-Pacific region at 67.4 million households far outstrips this number. “Still gun-shy from the dot-com crash and continuing economic uncertainty, telecom, media and marketing companies are understandably hesitant to fully embrace the broadband concept,” says Macklin. “The countries and companies that realize the full potential of widespread broadband will surge ahead in the next decade. It’s now time to take the Net to the next level.”

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