Just An Online Minute... Broadband, Critical Mass?

Have we reached critical mass on consumer broadband penetration in the United States? Well, apparently JupiterResearch says we have. Jupiter reports that more than 43 percent of online households now connect to the Web via broadband, thus constituting critical mass.

Jupiter projects that broadband adoption will reach nearly 80 percent of online U.S. households, or 69 million households, by 2010. The market researcher maintains that portals and content sites can leverage these increases by experimenting with personalization features, Flash-based home pages, customizable RSS feeds, and other advanced functions.

Price cuts by communications companies like Verizon and SBC and some cable providers are driving higher household broadband penetration. In fact, today news spread that Yahoo! will offer a low-cost broadband service with Verizon for $14.95 per month. The service will include antivirus software, on-demand video, and unlimited photo storage. Sounds like a sweet deal. There are also upgrade options for consumers who want even higher speeds. Of course, that makes us wonder exactly how high-speed the low-cost service is.

That prices are coming down on broadband is a good thing, but it's only a matter of time before "good," "better," and "best" speeds and feeds take hold in consumers' minds and they begin to get wise to the differences between a truly high-performance broadband service and a pokier one.

The Minute is happy with her broadband service delivered via a Time Warner cable modem, though yesterday, the service conked out. The service representative said it was likely that I needed a new cable modem box since none of the lights lit up after a diagnostic check. So we headed down to the Time Warner service center this morning to exchange the old box for a new one. We'll see what happens tonight...

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