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3/26/2003
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Broadband Boom Is Almost Here

An eMarketer Study says that within two years, more than 154 million users worldwide will have the service, up nearly 80% from today's totals.

Broadband is found in about 20% of all online households, approaching 50% in some areas. And, within two years, the number of homes worldwide with broadband access should exceed 154.3 million, according to an analysis by eMarketer Inc., an IT market-intelligence firm. That's nearly 80%, or 68.1 million more homes, than now have broadband service. "The debate is over," says eMarketer senior analyst Ben Macklin, "The broadband audience is now here."

Worldwide, eMarketer estimates, nearly 86.2 million homes have broadband service. The Asia-Pacific region has the largest number of households with broadband, 36.7 million. North America is next with 28.5 million, followed by Europe (19.5 million), and Latin America (2.3 million). By 2005, the number of homes with broadband will increase by 120% in Latin America, 110% in Western Europe, 84% in the Asia-Pacific region, and 50% in North America.

"We're finally reaching a point where broadband Internet users are approaching a critical mass," Macklin says in a commentary that accompanies the study. "This should provide encouragement for those developing innovative content and services tailored to the high-speed Internet. It's time to take the Internet to the next level with next-generation communications, E-learning, entertainment, and sophisticated interactive services."

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