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Broadband Boom Opening Doors For Portals

Broadband use has reached a critical mass, giving portals and content sites a chance to gain market share, a research firm says.

Broadband use has reached a critical mass, giving portals and content Web sites a chance to gain market share, according to research released Tuesday.

More than 43 percent of households are connecting to the Internet through broadband, and 80 percent of online U.S. households will be using broadband by 2010, according to JupiterResearch, a division of Jupitermedia Corp.

Jupiter's study on programming broadband to gain market share finds that entertainment, customization, advanced communications and personal pages dominate broadband use. Portals and content sites can experiment with Flash-based home pages and customizable RSS feeds in order to position for a slice of what's expected to become a 69 million-household share.

JupiterResearch Vice President and Senior Analyst David Card said some at least one company is already doing that.

Though AOL has been losing millions of subscribers every year and serious challenges are ahead, the company is showing what can be achieved by redesigning a site as a true broadband portal, Card said in an interview Tuesday. AOL's beta release of shows what can be achieved by redesigning a site as a true broadband portal, he said.

"AOL is well-positioned to try to steal Yahoo's early lead in RSS and teach the masses how to use this hot technology," Card said.

Companies can take advantage of the growing broadband market by using animation and promoting multi-media. Card said AOL News and AOL Music are great examples, but "they just need to get people other than AOL subscribers to realize it."

Darien, Conn.-based Jupitermedia provides information and research for information technology, business and creative professionals. JupiterResearch is a leading international research advisory organization specializing in business and technology market research.

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