June 1, 2007, 12:00 AM

When it comes to web access, more people are seeking fatter pipes

69 million U.S. Internet users will access the web via broadband connections by year’s end, up 12.6% from the current 61.3 million; the total should reach 115 million by 2011, according to new research.

69 million U.S. Internet users will access the web via broadband connections by year’s end, up 12.6% from the current 61.3 million; the total should reach 115 million by 2011, according to new research.

The growth rate of U.S. broadband subscribers in 2006 was 28%; it will drop to 20% this year and likely to 18% in 2008, projects “Broadband Gets Big: Global Broadband Subs Hit 285 Million,” a new report from business and technology research firm In-Stat.

Of U.S. broadband subscribers, 51% use cable modem service to access the Internet while 44% use a DSL telecommunications line, the report finds.

“Worldwide broadband subscriber growth hit 34% in 2006 and will remain strong, but the ‘law of large numbers’ will drive it down to 25% in 2007 and 18% in 2008,” says Mike Paxton, In-Stat’s principal analyst for consumer markets.

During the past 12 months approximately 65 million new broadband subscribers worldwide signed up for high-speed access to the Internet-by 2011, total worldwide broadband subscribers will number 567 million, almost double the current 285 million subscriber base, the report says.

“The principal market driver for the adoption of broadband service is pretty straightforward: people want to access the Internet with a higher-speed connection,” Paxton says. “Beyond this basic desire, the emergence of online applications such as viewing video clips or TV programming, downloading music files, and even playing online games are fueling end-user demand for fatter pipes.”

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