Monday, May 29, 2006

Residential broadband shows 40% annual growth rate

This report released this week by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found a big increase in the number of residential broadband users in the U.S. The number of Americans who have broadband at home jumped from 60 million in March 2005 to 84 million in March 2006 – a leap of 40 percent. That growth rate is uniform among both urban and rural residents, the survey found.

"A significant part of the increase is tied to internet newcomers who have bypassed dial-up connections and gone straight to high-speed connections," the report states. It added this trend "is a striking change from the previous pattern of broadband adoption" in which residential users started out with dial up service.

Underserved areas like much of El Dorado County however don't have that option. It's either dial up or nothing as the rest of the nation takes the high speed bypass to the information highway, leaving the county stuck on a rutted dirt road. "It is still the case that broadband penetration rates in rural areas lag those in suburban and urban areas," the Pew report notes.

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