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URLwire for Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - Online news headline linking services are welcome to link to this story
September 2003 Bandwidth Report - US Broadband Penetration Now At 38.9%, Iceland Gives Internet Warm Reception
Overall, broadband grew by 1.09% in August, with 38.9% of US home users enjoying a high-speed connection. 61.1% of US home users dial into the Internet with "narrowband" connections of 56Kbps or less. The information below, derived from Nielsen/NetRatings data, show trends in connection speeds to the Internet for users in the United States.
September 2003 Bandwith Report
September 2003 Bandwith Report
Search URLwire archives since 1994 
Home Connectivity in the US:
As of August 2003, most users in the US connect to the Internet using dial-up modems of 56Kbps or less. 50.3% use 56Kbps modems, 7.9% use 28/33.3Kbps, and 2.9% use 14.4Kbps modems. In total, 61.1% of home users in the US connect to the Internet at 56Kbps or less. (See the September 2003 Bandwidth Report – Figure 1)

Broadband Growth in the US:
Broadband penetration in US homes increased by 1.09% in August. As of August 2003 broadband penetration was at 38.9%, up from 37.8% in July. This is higher than the average increase in broadband of .72% per month from October 1999 to July 2003. Extrapolating the data provided by Nielsen//NetRatings, 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 August of 2003, of those connected to the Internet, 72.2% of US users at work enjoy a high-speed connection, up 1.26% from 70.9% in July. 27.8% connect from work at 56Kbps or less. (See Figure 3

Worldwide Broadband:
Worldwide, there were 63 million broadband subscribers at the start of 2003, with 1.13 billion fixed-line users, and 1.16 billion mobile phone users, according to the ITU's "Birth of Broadband" report. Korea leads all countries with 21.3 subscribers per 100 inhabitants. Hong Kong next (14.9), with Canada (11.2), Taiwan (9.4), Denmark (8.6), Belgium (8.4), Iceland (8.4), Sweden (7.8), Netherlands (7.2), Japan (7.1), United States (6.9), Austria (6.6), Switzerland (6.3), Singapore (5.5), and Finland (5.3) following. The United States has the most broadband subscribers (20 million plus), followed by Korea, Japan, Canada, and Germany.

Worlwide, about one in every ten Internet subscribers has a broadband connection (10.7%). Globally, the type of broadband access is dominated by DSL, which is 20% more popular than cable. Of broadband users connected to the Internet, 59% use DSL while 39% use cable. DSL is more common in Asia and Europe, while cable is more popular in the Americas.

Worldwide Internet Adoption:
Iceland leads all countries in Internet users per 100 inhabitants with 60.76%, followed by Sweden (57.31%), Korea (55.19%), Singapore (53.97%), United States (53.75%), Netherlands (53.04%), Finland (50.89%), Norway (50.48%), New Zealand (48.44%), and Canada (48.39%).

Further Reading:
Broadband Usage Limits Enforced
International Telecommunication Union
See the Birth of Broadband report (ISBN: 92-61-10351-0, 200 pages, September 2003) for global broadband adoption statistics at the start of 2003. 
*Note: "Users" signifies people connected to the Internet.

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 August 2003 Bandwidth Report is available at:

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 
- Speed up site load time to satisfy customers 
- Engage users with fast response times and flow stimulus 
- Increase usability, boost profits, and slash bandwidth costs 
- Improve search engine rankings 

Andy King is also the founder of and, both award-winning developer sites from 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 and, Andy became the "Usability Czar" at, 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 

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-) -  

When email addresses are used in URLwire stories,  I have replaced the "@" sign with (--at--)  to discourage spam bots.  To send email, simply replace (--at--) with an @ sign in your To: line

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