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Q: National (US) broadband utilization statistics based on income ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: National (US) broadband utilization statistics based on income
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: coquestioner-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 12 May 2005 21:18 PDT
Expires: 11 Jun 2005 21:18 PDT
Question ID: 521162
I'm looking for national broadband utilization statistics based on
specific demographic information. Specifically, I'd like to know what
percentage of households earning approximately $75,000 or more have
some form of broadband Internet access (i.e. DSL, Cable, Wireless,
Satellite, etc.). Just as importantly, how have these statistics
changed over each of the last five years? Statistics based on
households whose homes range from $200,000 to $500,000 would also be

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 16 May 2005 09:44 PDT
The type of income breakouts you're looking for regarding boradband
use are available for the US for 2003.

I do not see any data more recent than 2003 however (the data appears
in a report published late in 2004).  In addition, there does not
appear to be regular annual comparisons over the past five years or
so, but there may be some sporadic data prior to 2003.

The data shows that fewer than 10% of households with incomes of $25K
or less use broadband, while more than 57% of households with incomes
above $150K are broadband enabled.

There are also detailed breakouts by age, geography, and other
demographic variables.

Let me know if this data is of interest, or if it is too limited to
meet your needs.


Clarification of Question by coquestioner-ga on 23 May 2005 08:42 PDT
I'm looking for compelling data that will give a strong reason to
believe that a significant portion of households earning above $75K
have broadband. In fact, I was hoping it would be the vast majority.
My experience in IT has shown that every even semi-affluent person I
know has broadband.

Even if only in Colorado, the more the data can support an argument
that an overwhelming majority of people in this demographic have
broadband the better.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 23 May 2005 11:17 PDT
Hello again, and thanks for getting back to me.

Your instincts are good...most high-income households are indeed

I already mentioned (above) the high-end figure of 57% of houses in
2003.  Since then, broadband use has doubled.  I can use the 2003 data
(from the US government) -- combined with some trends data from
2003-2005 (from Nielsen ratings) --  to provide a reliable estimate of
the percentage of broadband users in high-income households. 
Nationally, 70% of households are expected to have broadband by the
end of 2005, and the figure is higher still for high-income

Would that sort of data meet your needs?


Clarification of Question by coquestioner-ga on 31 May 2005 09:11 PDT
Absolutely. That's exactly what I'm looking for. If I can put some
numbers from almost anywhere into a chart or graph showing the
overwhelming numbers of upper income residents of a new housing
development that will be using broadband, that will make all the case
I need in my business presentation.

Thanks for staying on top of this.

Clarification of Question by coquestioner-ga on 01 Jun 2005 08:12 PDT
The price just went up to $50 if I can get an answer by the end of the
day. Thanks again for your help.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 01 Jun 2005 08:22 PDT
Hello there,

Just saw your note.  I'd been waiting for feedback on this, so I'm
glad to hear that the information I suggested will meet your needs.

If you want to change the price of the question, feel free to do so,
per the instructions in the Help and Tips section:

Change your question price:  You can change your price at anytime as
long as your question is not currently 'locked' and being answered by
a Researcher. To change your question price, go to "My Account,"
select "My Unanswered Questions" and click on the question with the
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to modify the price.

Please make any changes promptly, to leave time to answer your
question by the end of today.



Clarification of Question by coquestioner-ga on 01 Jun 2005 13:42 PDT
It's done.
Subject: Re: National (US) broadband utilization statistics based on income
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 01 Jun 2005 18:43 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

Thanks for your patience on this while I worked up the numbers.

For starters, let's turn to a report from the Department of Commerce
that provides a wealth of information on both overall internet use and
broadband penetration.  The report is here:
A Nation Online: Entering the Broadband Age

I would suggest looking through this entire document, but the
information of particular interest to you -- broadband use by
household incomes -- is presented in the Appendix:

Appendix Table 1: Internet Use from Any Location by Individuals Age 3
and Older, September 2001 and October 2003 and Living in a Home with
Internet Broadband Age 3 and Older, October 2003

[Percent of population that] Lives in a Broadband Household
Oct. 2003


Family Income

Less than $15,000 -- 7.5%

$25,000 - $34,999--13.4%

$50,000 - $74,999--27.9%

$75,000 & above--45.4%

$150,000 & above -- 57.7%

As you can see, broadband use climbs rapidly and steadily with income,
reaching a peak for this survey of 57.7% (in October 2003) of homes
with $150,000+ income.

Some additional information on the breakouts of broadband types are
presented in Appendix Table 4: Household?s Internet Connection Type,
October 2003, which shows that, for $150,000+ households,  33.1% have
broadband via cable modems, and 25.6% use DSL.

The above report provides good detail up through 2003.  Some
subsequent private-sector surveys have more current data, although
they are not quite as detailed as one might like (at least in terms of
the publicly released information).

One such very recent (dated today!) item can be found here:
Broadband Boosts E-Commerce, New Media Adoption
June 1, 2005 

...[report from] Goldman Sachs, "Americas Technology: Internet," which
forecasts growth for broadband, e-commerce, new media and advertising.

...Broadband reached a tipping point this year. Over 50 percent of
households subscribe to high-speed Internet access. That number is
expected to reach 59 percent by the end of 2005. The report points out
35 percent of narrowband subscribers plan to upgrade to broadband at
the $35 price point, though the cost must drop below $29 for
significant conversions from dial-up users, unless there's a severe
decline of narrowband functionality.

So, we have the Dept of Commerce report that puts broadband use (for
all income ranges) at 22.8% in 2003, and this latest report that
projects a 59% penetration rate by the end of 2005.  In other words,
broadband use has skyrocketed in the past two years, more than
doubling.  More households have broadband than don't.

In addition, the use of broadband in the general population in 2005 is
higher than it was for the upper income households in 2003 (59% vs

Although upper-income data isn't provided in the newest report, it is
reasonable to assume that broadband use in upper income homes has also
had a rapid increase, and that the overall penetration is probably in
the 90% range.

Another report lends credence to this estimate:
Broadband: High Speed, High Spend
January 24, 2005

...The number of U.S. at-home broadband users increased 36 percent in
2004, accounting for 55 percent of the total U.S. at-home users by the
end of December, according to the latest data from

A chart of the growth trends referenced in the above report is shown here:
Broadband Growth Trend, 1999-2005

and projects overall broadband penetration of about 73% by October
2005.  The report is a bit ambiguous in terms of how the define this
number.  I can't say categorically that it's directly comparable to
the statistics from other reports.  But still, it shows the phenomenal
growth of broadband use in the general population, and what must
certainly be very high penetration rates in upper income households.

I threw a lot of numbers at you, and I hope they are clearly
presented, and I trust you have everything you need at this point.

However, please don't rate this answer until you have everything you
need.  If you would like any additional information, just post a
Request for Clarification to let me know how I can assist you further,
and I'm at your service.

All the best,


search strategy -- Used bookmarked sites for internet demographic reports.
coquestioner-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
I thought the answer that pafalafa-ga provided was very good -
especially considering the fact that various peices of information had
to be brought together to come of with the final projection. The
answer was exactly what I suspected, and pafalafa-ga did the research
to substantiate it... well done.

There are no comments at this time.

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