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Last Updated: Saturday, 15 November, 2003, 07:57 GMT
Broadband net user numbers boom
Space Shuttle takes off, AP
The move to high-speed net access is growing
The move to high speed net access shows no sign of slowing down in the US.

Figures released this week show that cable and broadband net service suppliers have had their best three months ever.

More than two million Americans bought broadband in the three months to October according to Leichtman Research.

But analysts warned that the level of growth was unlikely to continue as there was little room left to cut prices and so tempt more customers.

Growth curve

Cable firms signed up the largest share of the two million new subscribers, with 61% preferring to get their broadband via this route.

Part of the growth has been because regional US telephone firms have been running promotions that offer DSL at very low prices.

Cable firms responded to these promotions by cutting their own prices and boosting line speeds.

Bruce Leichtman said most of the growth came from people signing up for the cut price broadband deals.

"Without these promotions, this level of growth may prove to be difficult to maintain," he said.

But despite the growth, most US net users are still dialling up to the net with a modem. Recent growth means that broadband users in the US are hovering just under 40% of all net users.

But the US is not the only country enjoying a broadband boom. It is also taking off in China.

According to research by CCID Consulting of Beijing, the numbers of Chinese net users with broadband connections has tripled in just 12 months.

In November 2002 CCID estimates that there were 3.4m Chinese broadband users.

By November of this year the figure had climbed to 9.4m.

But despite this rapid increase there is still less than one broadband user for every 1000 Chinese people.

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