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Broadband Users Number 120-plus Million

Broadband connections to the Internet increased by 16 percent since the first of the year, Nielsen/NetRatings said Wednesday, which means that more than 4 in every 10 Americans now reach the Web via a fast link.

"Although broadband penetration among Internet users has long been on the rise, it was always amid speculation that the high cost of broadband would limit its widespread adoption," said Charles Buchwalter, vice president of client analytics at Nielsen/NetRatings, in a statement. "However, over the last year, carriers have responded to the growing demand for lower cost broadband…all indications are that this trend will continue."

Phone carriers have spearheaded the broadband price decreases. According to a recent survey by SG Cowen, phone companies cut the cost of DSL by 9.2 percent in August alone.

By Nielsen/NetRatings' figures, 120.8 million Americans had broadband Internet access as of the end of August, up from 103.7 million in January, 2005.

The percentage of active U.S. Internet users going online with broadband from home also reached an all-time high, said Nielsen/NetRatings. As of the end of August, 61.3 percent of users reached the Web via fat pipes.

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