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Entertainment vs information

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Up to a third of Americans have access to broadband - but mostly at work.

Thirty per cent of the population can get onto broadband, 64 per cent of that 30 per cent get broadband access through work (and, although it's not clear from the press release, school), and 37 per cent at home. There's not much overlap - 15 per cent have access at home and at work.

These are the conclusions of a survey of 800 US broadband users conducted by Coleman, a media research frim, of behalf of Arbitron.

Arbitron dubs the users 'speedies' and it - or maybe its Coleman - is optimistic about the prospects of broadband take-up.

Its research shows that college speedies are l"lkely to get residential broadband service in the future. More than one-third (38 percent) of college speedies say they are either 'very likely'or 'somewhat likely' to get broadband at home if they were no longer in school".

A fifth of these college speedies use broadband for entertainment services, compared with eight per cent of boring old work speedies, who use the Internet largely as a source of information.

Arbitron reckons that today's college market is an "early indicator of how consumers will embrace broadband in the near future. Since college students are more likely to view the Internet as an entertainment medium it will be crucial for the industry to develop compelling new forms of online entertainment in order to drive broadband adoption."

The second challenge for the broadband industry is to capture the attention of the work market - far larger, potentially, for streaming audio and video providers - than home, Coleman says. We guess it will stay potential for a long-time yet. Who watches work-related TV services on the Internet? ®

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