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URLwire for Monday, October 27, 2003 - Online news headline linking services are welcome to link to this story
 
October 2003 Bandwidth Report - US Broadband Breaks 40%
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Overall, broadband grew by 1.09% in September, with 40% of US home users enjoying a high-speed connection. 60% of US home users dial into the Internet with "narrowband" connections of 56Kbps or less. Across the pond, Britains endure phone-line splitting by major telcos. The charts below, derived from Nielsen//NetRatings, show trends in connection speeds to the Internet for users in the United States.
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October 2003 Bandwidth Report - US Broadband Breaks 40%  
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 
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Home Connectivity in the US:
As of September 2003, most users in the US connect to the Internet using dial-up modems of 56Kbps or less. 49.7% use 56Kbps modems, 7.5% use 28/33.3Kbps, and 2.8% use 14.4Kbps modems. In total, 60% of home users in the US connect to the Internet at 56Kbps or less. (See the October 2003 Bandwidth Report – Figure 1

Broadband Growth in the US:
Broadband penetration in US homes increased by 1.09% in September. As of September 2003 broadband penetration was at 40%, up from 38.9% in August. This is higher than the average increase in broadband of .72% per month from October 1999 to August 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 September of 2003, of those connected to the Internet, 72.8% of US users at work enjoy a high-speed connection, up 0.6% from 72.2% in August. 27.2% connect from work at 56Kbps or less. (See Figure 3)

British Telecom Splits the Difference
A reader in Britain writes that the statistics for home users in the UK is further muddied due to British Telecom's practice of splitting phone lines. Before he switched to broadband, Garry Heaton suffered from line splitting in the UK when BT connected another phone within the same building. "Instead of connecting a new line, often an existing line is 'split' which results in a 56K connection being effectively capped at 33K. There are many UK dial-up users affected by this, most of whom are unaware of it and simply experience the Internet slower on their computer." 

"The practice involves the installation of a DACS box when a new phone connection is requested within a building which has an existing BT line. The DACS box allows the existing line to be split, at which point the effective bandwidth is capped at 33Kbps. In practice this can mean a drop to 28K as available bandwidth isn't always maximized. Cable users are not affected by the practice."

DACS (Digital Access Carrier System) converts two analog lines into one digital signal, allowing two customers to send data through a single phone line. According to Oftel's guidelines on Internet access, BT and Kingston Communications are required to provide a telephone connection "capable of functional Internet access" upon reasonable request. Oftel's guidelines set a benchmark speed of 28.8Kbps for a standard telephone line.

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 October 2003 Bandwidth Report is available at:
http://www.websiteoptimization.com/bw/0310/

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 
- 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 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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Selected headline links to previous URLwire site announcements
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10/23/03 NOVA Launches String Theory Companion Site
10/22/03 Amazon Launches "Search Inside the Book" Feature
10/17/03 New ESPN.com Site Ranks 100 Greatest World Series
10/14/03 First Ever Record Club Dedicated to Emerging Artists Launched
10/13/03 PayPal Launches First International Version, PayPal UK
10/08/03 Third Quarter Favourite Website Awards (FWA) Winners
10/08/03 Your All Star Launches First Ever Web Scrapbook for Kid's Sports
10/06/03 Web's Largest Auto Insurance Quote Site Launches Consumer Education Center
10/03/03 URLwire Web Links Guide to Halloween
10/01/03 WGBH Launches Teachers' Domain Multimedia Library
9/29/03 Trivial Pursuit Launches Online Version Today
9/26/03 ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre Online Launches Companion Site for "Our Town" 
9/25/03 Gold Pages Launches Net's Largest E-currency Search Engine, Directory 
9/24/03 MedicineNet.com Announces Free RSS News Syndication Service
9/23/03 September 2003 Bandwidth Report - US Now At 38.9%, Iceland Warms

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