Broadband continues to make inroads into American homes, now accounting for well over half of all online households, according to the latest survey. But DSL continues to catch up to cable.
In the newest telephone study of Internet take rates by Leichtman Research Group, nearly seven out of 10 U.S. households (or 69%) subscribe to an online service at home. This means that more 70 million homes now pay for some kind of Web service.
Of that total, Leichtman Research found that about 60% (or slightly over 40% of all U.S. homes) now subscribe to broadband service. Plus, 40% of the steadily declining dial-up segment are interested in upgrading to broadband speeds.
Notably, cable modem service, generally the priciest option for reaching the Internet, attracts the most affluent group of consumers. Leichtman Research found that more than one-third (or 37%) of all households with annual incomes over $75,000 subscribe to cable broadband while 27% subscribe to DSL. Largely as a result, the mean household income of cable modem customers is 12% higher than their DSL counterparts.
Yet, in a reflection of its growing appeal, DSL commands a greater proportion of middle-income households. Among those consumers making $30,000 to $75,000 a year, 21% subscribe to DSL while only 18% take cable broadband.
Leichtman Research projects that more than 105 million U.S. homes will subscribe to online service by 2010. Of this total, the firm predicts that over 80%, or about 85 million households, will opt for broadband. But it doesn't say whether cable will keep its dwindling lead over DSL.