Online Users Need Speed

As the number of Internet users increases, so does the desire for a faster connection, according to a survey conducted by research firm The Yankee Group.

Forty-one percent of Net surfers were very interested in high-speed Internet access and an additional 43 percent were somewhat interested. Those numbers are up from last year, when only 25 percent of online households wanted faster connections.

The survey also found that users are more willing to pay more for the high-speed data connections. Thirty-six percent of online households are willing to pay $40 per month — the typical price for cable modem service — for high-speed access, up from 27 percent.

Cable and telephone companies are only beginning to offer fast access. The Yankee Group estimates that about 300,000 subscribers can now receive high-speed Internet service, with telephone companies servicing fewer subscribers with Digital Subscriber Line service.

The fast Internet market is slated to boom in the next few years. The Yankee Group predicted that households subscribing to high-speed access will grow from fewer than 500,000 today to 7 million by 2002.

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