Developments in the US broadband market may provide some long-awaited positive news for the communications industry.
A new survey has found that there has been significant growth in broadband subscriber additions over the past six months.
Around 24 million Americans now have high-speed connections at home, according to latest research from the non-profit Pew Internet and American Life Project. That is an increase of more than a quarter since the start of the year, and quadruple the number of broadband users just two years ago.
This kind of growth, according to the survey, puts US broadband adoption rates on a par with other key popular technologies including PCs and CD players. It also puts broadband ahead of take-up rates for the colour television and the VCR.
While the growth in demand for broadband connections is good news for local loop and cable service providers, the survey also reveals that faster broadband acceptance could prove valuable for internet infrastructure companies as well as those businesses using the internet to reach customers.
The survey found that America's broadband users are far more likely to use and shop on the internet than those with dial-up connections.
"Broadband users spend more time online, do more things, and do them more often than dial-up internet users," the Pew report said.
Pew found that the average internet user with high-speed home access does seven online tasks per day, compared with about three a day among dial-up users.
In addition, those tasks tend to require more network traffic. A broadband subscriber is also likely to perform a wider range of activities online, such as building web pages or downloading music or videos.
Nearly six out of ten broadband users have generated their own online content, posted information to a website or shared music and other types of files online, according to a companion survey by Pew of adults with high-speed service.
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