The number of U.S. at-home broadband users increased 36 percent in 2004, accounting for 55 percent of the total U.S. at-home users by the end of December, according to the latest data from Nielsen//NetRatings.
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If this robust adoption rate continues, almost 70 percent of all U.S. home users will have broadband connections by the end of 2005, according to forecasts based on Nielsen data in the “January 2005 Bandwidth Report” by WebSiteOptimization.com.
Worldwide, broadband adoption grew even faster last year. According to Point Topic estimates, the total number of broadband subscribers exceeded 150 million by the end of December, a year-over-year increase of approximately 50 percent.
The Effect on E-Commerce
Broadband proliferation is already having a quantifiable effect on online retail purchases. Nielsen’s recently unveiled MegaView Online Retail Service, which tracks online purchasing behavior, reports 69 percent of all online retail purchases were conducted over broadband connections in November 2004, averaging $158.21 spent per person. That dollar amount is 34 percent higher than the $117.89 average spent per person via narrow band connections in November.
In addition to outspending their narrowband counterparts, broadbanders connect to the Web more frequently and for longer periods. The average broadband user connected to the net 59 times in November, 34 percent more frequently than the average narrowband user, who connected an average of 44 times. Broadband users also visited online retail sites more frequently, averaging 18 visits in November.
In terms of total time spent online, broadband users averaged 22 hours a month in November, versus 18 hours averaged by narrowband user.
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