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San Francisco is Top US Broadband Market

Broadband penetration increased more than 300 percent since 2002 in America, according to the latest analysis from Scarborough Research. In 2002, 12 percent of U.S. adults had a broadband connection in their household.

Now, a little less than half (49 percent) have broadband -- bringing broadband penetration closer to a mainstream level. In terms of types of broadband connections, DSL connections grew more than cable modems, but both have expanded significantly.

Since 2002, cable modem penetration increased 188 percent, while DSL connections increased 575 percent. The data in this analysis is from Scarborough's USA+ database, which is a nationally syndicated consumer study covering a sample of more than 220,000 adults ages 18 and older.

San Francisco is the top local U.S. market for broadband penetration according to Scarborough. Sixty-two percent of adults in San Francisco live in a household that has a broadband Internet connection. Other top broadband markets include Boston and San Diego. In these cities, 61 percent of adults have a broadband connection in their household.

"There is obviously an increasing need for more high-speed Internet connectivity as it enables fast and efficient delivery of rich media content," said Gary Meo, senior vice president of digital media services, Scarborough Research.

"Consumers clearly are demanding more speed in order to upload, download, post and interact with content in a Web 2.0 environment."

The cities that rank highly for broadband penetration are also prominent Internet usage markets. For example, adults in San Francisco, Boston and San Diego are more likely than the average person to have accessed the Internet during the past month, and they are also more likely to have spent 10 or more hours online during the past week.

San Francisco adults are 12 percent more likely than all adults nationally to have accessed the Internet in the past month, and 26 percent more likely to have spent 10 or more hours online during the past week.

"Despite broadband usage growing into a mainstream phenomenon nationwide, there are still markets that lag the national average," said Mr. Meo. "These markets tend to be concentrated inthe South and Southwest."

That said, when compared to the global market leaders (Japan and South Korea) in the Asia-Pacific region, all U.S. markets are laggards in both penetration and broadband speeds.

Broadband subscribers are more likely than other Internet users to be engaged with Internet content. They are 30 percent more likely than total Internet users to have downloaded podcasts during the past month, 29 percent more likely to have downloaded/watched TV programs and 27 percent more likely to have downloaded/listened to other audio clips during this timeframe.

Broadband subscribers are also nine percent more likely than other Internet users to have visited a newspaper website during the past week.

Additionally, this consumer group is more likely than other Internet users to use the Internet for sports content. They are 23 percent more likely than other Internet users to have participated in fantasy sports during the past month and 15 percent more likely than other Internet users to have checked sports scores online during this timeframe.

Broadband subscribers are also more likely to visit of the major league websites such as MLB.com (18 percent more likely than total Internet users to access MLB.com in the past month), NHL.com (15 percent more likely), NFL.com and NBA.com (14 percent more likely).

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