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Broadband Growth Accelerates in Largest US Markets

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RESTON, Va., March 12 -- San Diego has become the first metropolitan market in which a majority of Internet users connect to the Internet through a broadband connection rather than a narrowband service, and among the largest 50 local markets, San Diego, Boston and New York led the nation in broadband connection use, according to a comScore Networks analysis of broadband penetration at the national and local market levels based on consumer behavior in the fourth quarter of 2003.

At the national level, 36 percent of online users accessed the Web through a high-speed connection in the fourth quarter of 2003, up 2 points from 34 percent in the third quarter. comScore said Comcast holds the dominant position in the broadband market, providing access to approximately 19 percent of broadband users and 7 percent of all online users. SBC, the country's largest DSL provider, accounts for 11 percent of consumer broadband connections and 6 percent of total ISP subscriptions, and AOL continues to supply Internet access (narrowband and broadband) to more Americans than any other provider, with a 28 percent share.

Broadband usage is notably more common in larger markets, with approximately 40 percent of Internet users in the top 50 markets enjoying the benefits of a broadband connection, compared to a national penetration level of 36 percent.

A number of the nation's major population centers, including Boston, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, rank among the top ten markets in terms of broadband penetration. In contrast, only three top-25 markets (St. Louis, Sacramento, Indianapolis) were ranked among the ten markets with the lowest broadband penetration.

"In the past several months, we've seen the US online population reach 150 million people and household broadband penetration cross the 33 percent threshold," said Russ Fradin, executive vice president of comScore Networks. "Now we've recorded another milestone, with broadband accounting for more than half of a major US market's Internet connections."

He said comScore's survey research reveals a substantial number of people on the verge of switching their ISP, indicating that a significant number of consumers are benefiting from intense competition among incumbent phone and cable providers, as well as newer market entrants.

"It's clear that increased promotional activity and lower prices introduced by these competitors are fueling the momentum of broadband growth, particularly in larger markets," Fradin said.

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Mar 2004
Indicating a capability to deal with a relatively wide spectral bandwidth.
broadbandbroadband competitioncomScore Networkshigh-speed internet connectionNews & Features

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