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More Than Half of Web Surfers Now Use Broadband

Broad Audience Reach Has Important Implications for Marketers

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In a milestone of the rapidly changing media landscape, more than 50% of the Web-surfing public is now doing so via broadband connections, according to a Nielsen/NetRatings analysis for July.

The U.S. is rapidly emerging as a 'Broadband Nation' of Web surfers routinely able to watch high-quality video on their computers.

Dialup drops 13%
A year ago at the same time, only 38% were using high-speed connections. That's an increase of 47% year-over-year. Narrowband usage, meanwhile, dropped 13% from last July.

At the same time, business Web sites are known to be logging much higher levels of traffic from broadband users. For instance, during the past three months, 82.6% of all users of this site, AdAge.com, have accessed it via broadband connections.

Broadband adoption has been growing steadily month to month for the last year, said Marc Ryan, senior director of analysis at Nielsen/NetRatings in Seattle. "People see it as a natural next step in the evolution of their Internet experience."

Marketing implications
The continuing shift toward broadband has important implications for online advertisers. For one thing, it allows them to use more engaging animation and game-like structures for their marketing messages. It also enables them to use high-grade original video applications on the Web or easily repurpose their TV commercials as online commercials.

"It's a cost savings to be able to get the same look and feel from medium to medium," Mr. Ryan said.

59% of 18- to 20-year-olds
The highest penetration of broadband surfers is among 18- to 20-year-old surfers, at 59%. Second is children 2 to 11, at 58%, followed by 25- to 34-year-olds at 55%. Teens and people 21 to 24 each have 53% penetration. The lowest penetration is among seniors aged 65 to 99 at 34%.

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