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Broadband Gains Ground in Urban Black and Hispanic Homes

Broadband internet is now reaching a full 50 percent of homes in urban America, up from 38 percent in 2006, according to the 2007 edition of Horowitz Associates, Inc.'s annual study on urban, multicultural consumers and the market for cable and broadband services, reports MarketingCharts.

Some findings from the "State of Broadband Urban Markets" study:

  • Cable modem and DSL service are neck to neck in market share, with each accounting for nearly one-quarter of the urban market (24 percent).
  • Three percent (3 percent) of urban consumers now say they have FIOS service from Verizon as their broadband provider.

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  • Most broadband growth occurred in white, non-Hispanic homes, but broadband is gaining momentum among Black and Hispanic consumers:
    • In Black households, broadband penetration grew from 28 percent in 2006 to 39 percent - an increase of 11 percentage points (compared with a four percentage point increase the prior year).
    • In Hispanic homes, the service grew 9 percentage points from 2006 to 2007, also to 39 percent of homes.
    • Growth was highest in bilingual Hispanic households: Over four in ten (43 percent) now have broadband access.
    • Broadband penetration among Spanish-dominant homes remained virtually unchanged, at 19 percent.
  • On a weekly basis, one in five (21 percent) urban internet subscribers watches television-type video content online.
  • Hispanic (28 percent) and Black (24 percent) internet subscribers are the most likely to watch TV content online weekly; white, non-Hispanics are the least likely to do so.
  • Regarding mobile broadband, 16 percent of urban cell phone owners subscribe to a service to get internet access on their cell phone, and 7 percent subscribe to video service, such as VCAST, for their cell.

"That the 'digital divide' in terms of broadband services is narrowing is an important development," noted Adriana Waterston, VP of marketing and business development for Horowitz Associates, Inc. "As more and better content becomes available, more consumers are attracted to broadband, which creates demand for even more, better content."

"This is an exciting time to be in the broadband business, especially if you are appealing to multicultural consumers, who are on the leading edge of this new media world," she added.

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