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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Broadband passes dial-up in U.S.

For the first thime, there's more high-speed Net users than dial-up households in the U.S.

According to Nielsen/ NetRatings, more people now log on to the Net through broadband connections than over dial-up. The company says home high-speed Net connections represent 51 percent of the market now, compared to 38 percent a year ago. That's despite a recent plateau in subscriber growth, apparently.

There's still a lag in what people do on broadband networks, though. Our recent poll results showed that most people mostly used broadband for things they could do with dial-up connections – read Web sites, send email, etc. People are trickling into real broadband services like streaming audio and video on demand relatively slowly. Jim and I had drinks with executives at EarthLink a few weeks ago, and they said they're seeing the same patterns among their subscriber base.