Broadband Appeal

A report by ARC Group predicts that the global residential market for broadband access will be worth $80 billion by 2007, representing a seven-fold increase in revenue over the next five years. By 2007 there will be almost 300 million broadband business and residential premises outpacing narrowband connections. The company reports that DSL will account for almost a third of all connections closely followed by broadband cable. Satellite, fiber and fixed wireless will all represent a smaller proportion of the market due to cost and availability factors.

Further findings indicate that even though the residential market has the largest number of broadband installations, the business market will be the largest in terms of revenue and bandwidth usage. ARC Group forecasts that there will be over 30 million broadband business premises enabled for richer content and applications in 2007, with Western Europe accounting for a third of these. The Far East will rise to 4.24 million in 2007 but will be overtaken by Asia Pacific. In North America, the rise in broadband business will experience a slowdown due to saturation.

In the U.S., Nielsen//NetRatings noted a jump in at-home broadband Web access from 11.7 million in December 2000 to 21.2 million in 2001 – an increase of more than 80 percent. Despite the challenges the broadband industry faced in 2001 – economic instability, high prices, mediocre customer support, and inconsistent service – one-in-five active at-home users now employ high-speed technology such as DSL, cable modem, and satellite dish.

One of the reasons for the high broadband demand in the U.S. is the increasing popularity of home networking, according to a recent survey of over 1000 U.S. households conducted by In-Stat/MDR.

“The surge in wireless networking equipment sales, and the availability of low cost home routers to enable broadband sharing shows that this technology is indeed gaining wider acceptance,” says Jaclynn Bumback, an analyst with In-Stat/MDR.

In-Stat/MDR’s survey revealed that there was an increased interest in home networking by nearly all segments of the population, refuting the common perception that their usage is restricted to tech-savvy, early adopters. Other findings include:

  • 42 percent of those with home networks pointed to broadband as the primary application.
  • The 45-54 age bracket has become the largest segment of the home network owner population, as a result of tech-savvy children and easy installation products. This segment accounts for 28 percent of all home networked households in the U.S.
  • Of the respondents planning to purchase a home network, 41 percent plan to purchase from a retailer, and 37 percent do not know where they plan to purchase their home network.

In-Stat/MDR concludes that increased education about the benefits of home networking and broadband will spur purchases and installations.

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