August 18, 2004, 12:00 AM

Broadband penetration crosses the 50% threshold in July, NetRatings reports

Retailers who are concerned about how their sites perform for the dial-up market can be less worried now that Nielsen/NetRatings` latest survey shows Internet broadband usage exceeds 50% of the market.

Retailers who are concerned about how their sites perform for the dial-up market can be less worried about that in the face of the latest Internet broadband usage report from research and analysis company Nielsen/NetRatings.

Nielsen/NetRatings reports that at-home broadband Internet access reached 51% of all connections in July, the first time that more than 50% of at-home users are on broadband connections. That proportion is up from 38% a year ago. It translates into 63 million broadband users vs. 61.3 million dial-up users. Broadband connections rose 47% year-over-year, while narrowband dropped 13%.

"The norm of waiting for a page to load has gone by the wayside through increased broadband access,” says Marc Ryan, senior director and analyst, Nielsen/NetRatings. “With high-speed access in the majority, we`re likely to see the richer, more interactive content becoming the standard."

Nielsen/NetRatings reports that broadband penetration was highest among users under 34, with the 18-20 age group having the highest penetration of all at 59%. Users over 65 had the lowest penetration of broadband connections at 34%.

Nielsen/NetRatings says it expects strong broadband growth to continue through next year.


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