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More than half of US Net users have access to a broadband connection, according to the latest snapshot of e-life from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

With 68m US adults logging on to the Web either at home or at work using a broadband connection, researchers reckon that broadband use is much greater than first thought.

But there are no prizes for guessing why people are ditching dial-up in favour of high-speed Net access. Impatience with sluggish dial-up connections is cited as one of the top reasons for shifting to broadband.

As a result more than half of all adult Internet users - or a third of all adult Americans - have access to high-speed Internet connections either at home or on the job. While four in ten of adult Internet users - or a quarter of all adult Americans - have high-speed access at home, an increase of 60 per cent since March 2003.

Said the report: "Broadband in the home is increasingly the norm for the wealthier and better educated in America, as well as long-time Internet users. But there is evidence that relatively novice Internet users are moving from dial-up to broadband more rapidly than before."

Despite the growth, there are still areas where broadband has failed to make any significant inroads.

Just one in ten of people in rural areas have broadband in the home, compared to three in ten in urban or suburban areas. Once again, no prizes for guessing that part of this lack of uptake is down to the lack of availability of broadband infrastructure in rural areas. ®

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