U.S. Broadband Adoption Slowing

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A new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project says that as of June 2007, some 47 percent of U.S. residents have broadband Internet access at home. However, the rate at which Americans are signing up for home broadband service is slowing down: 2007’s figures are up from 2006, when 42 percent of Americans said they had home broadband, representing an overall growth of 12 percent. But between 2005 and 2006, home broadband adoption saw a growth rate of 40 percent, and between 2004 and 2005, the growth rate was 20 percent—rates for 2003 and 2002 were 67 percent and 50 percent, respectively. The new figures seem to indicate the rate at which Americans are signing up for broadband service is the lowest it’s been in years.

“The moderate growth in home high-speed adoption from 2006 to 2007 is partly a reflection of strong prior-year growth; the low-hanging fruit was picked in 2005,” said author John B. Horrigan, Associate Director of Research at the Pew Internet & American Life project, in a release. “Luring remaining hard-to-get adults to home broadband is likely to involve showing them the relevance of online content.”

The new report, Home Broadband Adoption 2007, also finds that among folks who use the Internet at home, 70 percent have broadband connections while 23 percent use dial-up connections. Broadband adoption in rural areas also continues to lag behind more-developed locales, with rural home broadband adoption now standing at 31 percent. Further, only 60 percent of rural adults using the Internet from any location, compared to the national average of 71 percent.

According to the report, nearly 40 percent of African Americans now have broadband Internet service at home, representing a 9 percent increase over 2006. Since 2005, the proportion of African American adults with a broadband connection has nearly tripled.

Not surprisingly, users with home broadband connections are more likely to use the Internet and/or check email every day (65 percent) compared to dial-up users (40 percent).

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