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RealTime IT News

S.F. Takes 'Broadband Wired City' Crown

San Francisco has more wireless broadband than any other city in the U.S., according to a new survey published Tuesday.

America Online , which commissioned its Broadband's first-ever survey of broadband use, ranked San Francisco as the number one "Broadband Wired City." The 18-market online survey included nearly 3,600 respondents (adults 18+) and was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation International.

The survey's ranking was based on an index of several key factors including the number of people using broadband connections at home and the amount of time that they have had them; the number of people who intend to get broadband in the next 12 months; the number of hours people with broadband connections spend online; and the variety of online activities conducted by people with broadband connections.

According to the survey, which examined regional broadband usage and online habits, the top 10 cities for broadband are:

  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. Tampa, FL
  3. Boston, MA
  4. Houston, TX
  5. Charlotte, NC
  6. Los Angeles, CA
  7. New York, NY
  8. Raleigh, NC
  9. Orlando, FL
  10. Seattle, WA

The new survey also reveals that overall, 49 percent of Internet users in the 18 markets surveyed are connecting via broadband at home, and have had high-speed connections in the house for an average of 19 months.

In general, broadband users reported spending approximately 23 hours a week online -- three hours more than people connecting via dial-up. In addition, broadband users said they could get more things accomplished online with broadband, and felt that they saved an average of three and a half hours a week because of the speed.

"As we continue to watch broadband use surge, it is amazing to see how attitudes toward the Internet are also shifting considerably," Carlos Silva, Vice President, AOL for Broadband said in a statement. "In cities like San Francisco, we are seeing more and more people take advantage of the extensive programming and functionality high-speed connections offer to get more done using the Internet, and to actually save time each week."

Among the other quirky things that AOL noticed about broadband surfers by the Bay: San Francisco broadband users have been using broadband longer than adults in any other market -- for just under two years.

After checking e-mail, the most popular online activities conducted by broadband users in San Francisco are shopping or researching products (80 percent); participating in polls (77 percent); checking news and headlines (71 percent); paying bills (50 percent); downloading or listening to music (46 percent); and playing games online (44 percent).

In San Francisco, 241 adults who are online at home were surveyed. A total of 133 were broadband users, and 108 were dial-up users.