In light of my book, A Networked Conspiracy, the Pew Internet and American Life Project has some interesting stats on the growth of broadband access in the US. From their Home Broadband Adoption 2006 – Home Broadband Adoption is Going Mainstream and that means User-Generated Content is Coming From All Kinds of Internet Users report:
The number of Americans who have broadband at home has jumped from 60 million in March 2005 to 84 million in March 2006 – a leap of 40%. This is a substantial increase in the rate of broadband adoption compared with the previous year. A significant part of the increase is tied to internet newcomers who have bypassed dial-up connections and gone straight to high-speed connections. This is a striking change from the previous pattern of broadband adoption.
- As of March 2006, 42% of all American adults had a high-speed internet connection at home. In March 2005, 30% of all adults had high-speed internet at home.
- This growth in broadband adoption has been fueled in part by an increase in internet penetration in the past year, from 66% to 73%. Nearly half of these new internet users subscribe to high-speed services at home.
- The 40% increase in home broadband adoption from March 2005 to March 2006 is double the 20% rate of increase that occurred from March 2004 to March 2005.
One of the very interesting stats is that:
48 million internet users have posted content to the internet and the large majority of them are home broadband users.
- Overall, 35% of all internet users have posted content to the internet.Specifically, we asked about four types of online content: having one’s own blog; having one’s own webpage; working on a blog or webpage for work or a group; or sharing self- created content such as a story, artwork, or video.
- An even higher percentage of home broadband users – 42% or about 31 million people – have posted content to the internet. They account for 73% of home internet users who were the source of online content.
And later in the report:
- User-generated content is driven by young home high-speed users. Fully 51% of “under 30” home broadband users have posted content to the internet compared with 36% of home high-speed users older than 30.
One of the interesting stats is the growth of high-speed internet access amongst lower income Americans:
The numbers for growth in lower income categories are important because it shows fast growth rates among a large segment of the population – approximately 40% of Americans tell us their annual household incomes are under the $50,000 threshold.
Further proof of the coming ubiquity of the internet.
UPDATE: You might also find this Pew Report Interesting: Internet Evolution