Election Section

Report says broadband users top 21 million in November

The Associated Press
Thursday December 20, 2001

SAN JOSE — The number of people who have high-speed Internet connections at home grew to a record 21.3 million in November, a 90 percent increase over the same month last year, according to a report. 

In all, broadband users make up about 20.2 percent of the total of all home Internet surfers, whose ranks grew only 11 percent during the same period, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. 

The shift in growth, despite the slumping economy, bodes well for Internet commerce. Last year, broadband surfers spent 67 percent more money online than dial-up, or “narrowband” users, the report said. 

“Broadband surfers tend to log onto the Internet more often, stay online longer and are more likely to shop online than narrowband surfers,” said T.S. Kelly, NetRatings’ director and principal analyst. 

Other research firms estimate that about 12 million households will have broadband access by the end of this year. NetRatings differs by counting the number of unique users who have access, said Jarvis Mack, senior analyst at Nielsen/NetRatings. 

Cahners In-Stat Group, for instance, forecast about 12.1 million total households connected to the Internet via cable modem, Digital Subscriber Line, fixed wireless or satellite, said senior analyst Ernie Bergstrom. 

The year’s growth in broadband usage comes as several service providers have filed for bankruptcy protection or gone out of business. 

NorthPoint Communications and Rhythms NetConnections, which provided high-speed access over telephone lines, shut down earlier this year. 

ExciteAtHome, which provides services over television cable lines, announced earlier this month that it will close down at the end of February after months of financial turmoil. 

In most cases, users have shifted to other broadband providers, such as major telephone companies for DSL or cable companies for cable modem service. 


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NetRatings: http://www.netratings.com