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Broadband hits a high note

A new report shows a 50 percent increase in broadband usage in major cities, and one analyst sees "healthy room" for more growth.

Broadband usage continues to grow rapidly, with a more than 50 percent increase in major cities, according to a new report.

Overall, more than 25.2 million consumers went online using cable modems, digital subscriber lines, ISDN or local area networks in April, a 58 percent increase from the previous year, and a 7 percent increase from March, according to a new report from market researcher Nielsen/NetRatings.

"While some barriers exist to broadband expansion such as increasing costs, there is healthy room for additional growth and adoption of broadband," analyst TS Kelly said in a release. "The largest broadband cities continue to grow."

Indeed, the top two broadband cities, New York and Los Angeles, saw the number of subscribers grow more than 70 percent year over year. New York now has 2.78 million high-speed Internet users, while Los Angeles has 1.76 million. The top five cities were rounded out by Boston, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

The top cities seemed to defy the law of large numbers, with some of the fastest-growing cities having the largest percentage increases year over year. Among the 20 cities with the most broadband users, Orlando, Fla., saw the most growth, with the number of broadband users rising 183 percent year over year to 401,000 in April 2002.