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U.S. Gains Net Speed, but Slowly

Delays in widespread broadband adoption in the U.S. would means missed opportunities for economic growth, innovation and investment, writes Red Herring, citing a Forrester forecast that broadband will be in 62 percent of households by 2010, whereas in South Korea, for example, 75 percent of households already have high-speed internet access. Last year, 29 percent of Americans had broadband access to broadband last year, up from 19 percent in 2003.

The 62 percent for 2010 is reasonable, given the geography and large population of the U.S., says a Forrester analyst in response to critics of the U.S. broadband access rate.

But other analysts note that greater broadband access would bring benefits. For example, the Forrester survey reports that households with broadband spend 31 percent more online than dial-up households.

The current level of access in U.S. is behind that of a score of other countries: South Korea, Japan, Canada and a handful of Western European states. China and India have relatively low levels of broadband access, but they will emerge as powerhouses in the next decades.

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