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URLwire for Wednesday, Febraury 25, 2004 
 
February Broadband Report Online: US at 43 %
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Overall, broadband grew by 0.15% in January, with 43% of Internet-connected U.S. households enjoying a high-speed connection. 57% of US home users dial into the Internet with "narrowband" connections of 56Kbps or less.* Sweden leads all countries in Internet penetration at 76.9%. The charts below, derived from Nielsen//NetRatings and Internetworldstats.com, show trends in connection speeds to the Internet for users in the United States and worldwide.
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http://www.websiteoptimization.com/bw/0402/
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The Bandwidth Report is a monthly roundup of broadband penetration figures from the US and elsewhere. Each month they report on  connection speeds, both at work and at home. Additionally, they predict the growth of broadband based on current trends. Thanks to Nielsen//NetRatings, Jupiter Research, Ipsos-Reid, the Korean Ministry of Information and Communication, and the International Telecommunication Union for providing the original data.
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Home Connectivity in the US
As of January 2004, most users in the US connect to the Internet using dial-up modems of 56Kbps or less. 46.6% use 56Kbps modems, 7.2% use 28/33.3Kbps, and 3.2% use 14.4Kbps modems. In total, 57% of home users in the US connect to the Internet at 56Kbps or less (see Figure 1).

Broadband Growth in the US
Broadband penetration in US homes increased by 0.15% in January. As of January 2004 broadband penetration was at 43%, up from 42.85% in December. This is lower than the average increase in broadband of .75% per month from October 1999 to December 2003. Extrapolating the data provided by Nielsen//NetRatings, we estimate that broadband share in the US should exceed 50% by June of 2004 (see Figure 2).

Work Connectivity
Most workers in the US enjoy high-speed connections to the Internet. Most use a high-speed line such as a T1 connection, and share bandwidth between computers connected to an Ethernet network. The speed of each connection decreases as more employees hook up to the LAN. As of January of 2004, of those connected to the Internet, 75.1% of US users at work enjoy a high-speed connection, down 0.5% from 75.6% in December. 24.9% connect from work at 56Kbps or less (see Figure 3).

Sweden Has Highest Internet Penetration Worldwide
Sweden leads all countries surveyed in overall Internet penetration, with 76.9% of the population on the Internet, according to Internetworldstats.com. The Netherlands follow with 66%, Australia next at 64.2%, the United States at 63.3%, and Iceland and Denmark tie at 62.5% Internet penetration.

Further Reading
Digital Access Index - http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/dai/index.html
The ITU's DAI shows that Sweden has the highest level of access to the Internet worldwide. The DAI includes the following factors: availability of infrastructure, affordability of access, educational level, quality of ICT services, and Internet usage. Note that this data is from 2002.
Internet World Stats - http://www.internetworldstats.com/
Tracks Internet usage worldwide using various trusted sources. Includes Internet penetration data on 240 countries and regions in the stats page. As of Dec. 2003 Sweden tops all countries in Internet penetration with 76.9%. By Enrique de Argaez.

About The Bandwidth Report:
The Bandwidth Report is a monthly roundup of connectivity trends in the US and elsewhere. Each month's bandwidth report offers the latest statistics in Internet connectivity and broadband trends, including: 

- Home Connectivity in the US 
- Broadband Growth in the US 
- Work Connectivity 
- Broadband Trends in the US, Canada, and other countries 

The February 2004 Bandwidth Report is available at:
 http://www.websiteoptimization.com/bw/0402/

About WebSiteOptimization.com
Don't Make Me Wait! The new book titled "Speed Up Your Site - Web Site Optimization" by Andy King, and the companion web site are about designing "speedy" web sites with techniques that... 

- Cut file size and download times in half 
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Andy King is also the founder of WebReference.com and JavaScript.com, both award-winning developer sites from internet.com. Created in 1995 and subsequently acquired by Mecklermedia (now Jupitermedia) in 1997, WebReference has grown into one of the most popular developer sites on the Internet.  While he was Managing Editor of WebReference.com and JavaScript.com, Andy became the "Usability Czar" at internet.com, where he optimized the speed and usability of their sites. In addition to his consulting work, he continues to write the two weekly newsletters he started for WebReference.com. 

For a review copy of "Speed Up Your Site - Web Site Optimization" (New Riders, ISBN 0-7357-1324-3) or an interview with the author, contact: Matt Hockin, 503.246.1375, matt(-at-)interactivemarketinginc.com - http://www.interactivemarketinginc.com/

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