High-Speed Connects High-Income Homes

Cable modems rule, especially among the higher income levels, surveys have found. Yankee Group predicts that the U.S. broadband subscriber market will grow 361 percent by the end of 2007, and more than half (58 percent) will be attributed to cable modem access. DSL, the connection of worldwide choice, is second in the U.S. with one-third of the lines.

Findings from a Jupiter Research (a unit of this site’s corporate parent) May 2002 survey conducted among 4,341 Internet users in the U.S. supports the theory of cable modem dominance, which Jupiter attributes to its head start on deployment, the consequent marketing impact, and the ease of installation and reliability compared with DSL.

Cable access providers are mostly responsible for the 8 percent increase in broadband penetration from 2000 to year-end 2001, with cable controlling 69 percent of the consumer broadband market, and 29 percent going to DSL providers. The remaining 2 percent of the market are subscribers to satellite and alternative technologies.

Jupiter found that broadband penetration is maturing, with 40 percent of 542 respondents indicating that they have had a high-speed connection for more than a year. More than one-quarter (28 percent) said that they had broadband access for 7 to 12 months, and 32 percent had it for 6 months or less. More than half (56 percent) of broadband subscribers are male, compared to 44 percent for women. Interestingly, men represent 46 percent of the online population, while women account for 54 percent.

Access by Income Level
Income Dial-up Broadband Online Population
Under $35,000 27% 20% 26%
$35,000-$49,999 13% 10% 12%
$50,000-$74,999 35% 34% 35%
$75,000-$99,999 14% 16% 14%
$100,000 or more 11% 20% 13%
Source: Jupiter Research

Jupiter’s analysis revealed that broadband users come from higher-income households – findings that are in agreement with the results of a survey of 1,000 U.S. households conducted by
Leichtman Research Group, Inc.

“As with many other new technology products and services, growth in residential broadband has been, and continues to be, highly correlated with household income” said Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst for Leichtman Research Group, Inc. “A pronounced gap still exists in the United States along economic lines, where the majority of lower-income American households are still not online.”

Online Status by Income
Income Current Broadband
Interested In
Getting Broadband
Not Online
Under $35,000 4% 12% 70%
$35,000-$50,000 11% 20% 51%
$50,000-$75,000 14% 24% 40%
$75,000-$100,000 17% 30% 29%
Over $100,000 28% 37% 15%
Mean $69,200 $62,700 $41,700
Source: Leichtman Research Group, Inc.

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