Broadband Adoption at Home Grows Strongly in Winter Months of 2003 & 2004

Contact: Cindy Jobbins, 215.575.4812, Amanda Lenhart, 202.296.0019


Washington, DC - 04/19/2004 - Broadband Internet access is increasingly being woven into the work and home lives of Internet users in the United States. According to the February 2004 survey of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, 55% of American Internet users have access to broadband either at home or in the workplace. Fully 39% of U.S. online users have broadband access at home. Much of the growth in broadband adoption at home is attributable to users’ unhappiness with the dial-up doldrums--that is, people growing frustrated with their slow dial-up connections. Nearly 60% of home broadband users say that impatience with dial-up connections or a desire to download files faster is the reason they switched to broadband. Price of service plays a relatively minor role in the home high-speed adoption decision.

"People do more things online the longer they have been Internet users, and the additional waiting sours them on dial-up," said John B. Horrigan, Senior Research Specialist at the Pew Internet & American Life Project and author of the report. "Paying more for broadband thus has big efficiency payoffs for many dial-up users. The extra monthly cost is well worth it for high-speed home users, and this is why they tell us price is not a big factor in their move to broadband."

Here are some highlights from the Pew Internet Project’s February 2004 survey:

  • 68 million Americans--or 34% of all adult Americans--have access to high-speed Internet connections either at home or on the job. 
  • 48 million Americans--or 24% of all adult Americans--have high-speed access at home. 
  • Home broadband adoption is up 60% since March 2003, with half of that growth since November 2003. 
  • A surge in subscription to DSL high-speed Internet connections, which has more than doubled since March 2003, is largely behind the growth in broadband at home. 
  • DSL now has a 42% share of the home broadband market, up from 28% in March 2003. 
  • For the first time, more than half (52%) of a key demographic group--college educated people age 35 and younger--has broadband connections at home. 
  • Only 10% of rural Americans go online from home with high-speed connections, about one-third the rate for non-rural Americans.
The February 2004 survey interviewed 2,204 Americans age 18 or over (1,371 Internet users). Margin of error is +/-2 percent points for the full sample and +/-3 percentage points for Internet users. 63% of respondents were Internet users in the survey.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project is a non-profit, non-partisan research organization funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts to explore the social impact of the Internet. The Project does not advocate any policy positions.

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