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United States Internet Broadband Usage Reached 68% in Feb/06

The latest estimates from Nielsen/NetRatings released on March 14, 2006 indicate that the number of active U.S. broadband users who access the network from home increased 28 percent year-over-year, growing from 74.3 million in February 2005 to 95.5 million in February 2006.

The broadband composition of the user base, the research firm adds, has been moving up steadily, increasing at least 10 percentage points annually, now hitting what the firm calls “an all-time high.” In recent years, the company reported home broadband figures to be 33 percent in February 2003, 45 percent in February 2004, 55 percent in February 2005 and 68 percent in February 2006. This is occurring, however, as overall Internet penetration in the United States has stabilized during the past few years, reaching 74 percent in February 2006.

Nielsen/NetRatings also claims that the average PC time spent per person on a monthly basis also is increasing as broadband penetration rises. Its correlating estimates on this score were 25.5 hours in February 2003, nearly 28 hours in February 2004 and in February 2005, and more than 30.5 hours in February 2006. It attributes part of this hourly growth to broadband services allowing easier online access to photo, music, audio or video downloads (including video-streaming and video-sharing Web sites) as well as more use of such applications as email and financial-account management.



U.S. Broadband
Composition (%)

PC Time Per
Person (hh:mm:ss)

Feb. - 2003

33 %


Feb. - 2004

45 %


Feb. - 2005

55 %


Feb. - 2006

68 %


Source: Nielsen NetRatings, March, 2006. Note: Broadband data is
based on individual, active Internet users 2 years and older.

"The correlated growth in average PC time per person is the result of broadband users' greater satisfaction with their online experience," says Jon Gibs, senior director of media at Nielsen/NetRatings. "The 'always on' nature of a broadband connection allows the Internet to become more entrenched.”

The update also includes a series of ratings connected with Web sites, Internet usage and online advertising. Leading video sites for Web traffic, for instance, were MSN Video, YouTube, Google Video, iFILM and Yahoo!’s video search. See the
Nielsen NetRatings press release.

About the Author:
Enrique De Argaez is the webmaster of the
"Internet World Stats" website. Since 2000 he has been collecting Internet Usage Statistics, and publishing the data for over 233 countries and regions of the world for free use by the academia, the global business community and the general public. For more information on Internet World Usage, visit his site at:

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