PIP Data on Home Broadband Growth


PEW has released a memo on home broadband usage (PDF) from its Internet and American Life project. The results might surprise some people since the common perception that home broadband growth is slow at best. I frequently talk to people who believe that every statistic they ever heard about Internet growth has now reversed. Most people reading this will know that's not true. According to the study:

As of the end of March 2003, 31% of home Internet users had a high-speed connection at home. This is up from 24% in October 2002 and 21% in March 2002. Today, approximately 30 million people ? or 16% of all Americans ? log on at home with a broadband connection. That is double the number who had a high-speed connection at home at the end of 2001 and, as noted, a 50% increase in the past year. In not quite three years, the United States has witnessed a five-fold increase in the number of people who go online with a fast connection at home.

The report contains numbers on what types of users have made the jump, what they use it for, etc.

This is, of course, little thanks to the Qwests and Comcasts of the world who continue to make little or no capital investment in passing new homes. They were big players in the first wave but are now mostly harvesting the potential subscribers in the areas they already serve. In the last year, the percentage of DSL subscribers has declined and the number of cable modem subscribers has risen modestly. Wireless, while small, in overall numbers has doubled. This clearly doesn't herald a huge win for wireless, but its a good data point.