Dial-Up Still King; Broadband Rising

Although most Web surfers still catch an Internet wave via
56-kilobit-per-second dial-up modems, the number of people who use faster
broadband connections to view uniform resource locators, send electronic mail,
stream video and trade MP3s has climbed dramatically during the last year,
according to Nielsen Media Research/NetRatings Inc.

More specifically, NetRatings said, high-speed Internet access surged 148
percent to roughly 12 million home users in December 2000 versus 5 million in
December 1999.

The ratings house defines broadband access as connections made via
cable-modem, digital-subscriber-line, integrated-services-digital-network and
local-area-network services.

Streaming-media applications are the chief reason for broadband's growth,
creating a 'must-have' home service, NetRatings said.

Although the broadband brigade continues to build, 56-kbps usage also rose
about 87 percent in the past year as people made the jump to faster dial-up
modems spurred on by the advent of free, ad-subsidized Internet-service

In fact, nearly two-thirds of Web users still log on to the Internet with
56-kbps modems, NetRatings said.

The firm also reported that the high-speed demographic -- especially DSL
customers -- tends to be 25 through 34 years old.

Women are also adopting high-speed connections faster than their male
counterparts, said NetRatings, which surveyed 62,000 at-home users and 8,000
at-work users for its sample.