RealTime IT News

The Rich Find Comfort in Broadband

Broadband penetration is nearly complete among the wealthiest in the U.S., and they're spending their time online spending money, according to a survey by the independent New York-based Luxury Institute.

Ninety-nine percent of Americans with annual incomes of $150,000 access the Internet from home, with only 2 percent of those still using dial-up connections. To access the Internet, 47 percent are using cable modem, 32 percent are using DSL and 7 percent are using T-1 lines.

With that always-on broadband access, the rich are spending money online more than they ever have before. Eighty percent of the wealthy now pay their bills online, compared to 75 percent in 2005. Ninety-eight percent use the Web to purchase goods and services. More than half do it "frequently," according to the survey.

Like the rest of Internet users, most of this group uses Google for their Web searches. Google's market share in this economic group is 63 percent, and Yahoo is a distant second with 11 percent. However, Yahoo maintains a lead among the wealthy as a Web portal. It's the most popular provider of homepages, leading Google's 17 percent with 23 percent.

The Luxury Institute's numbers concerning broadband penetration support the conclusion reached by Nielsen Analytics in January that for access to the young, the rich and the educated, advertisers should look to broadband video.

Called "Whatever, Whenever, Wherever: How Broadband is Redefining the Economics of Television," the study reported that while only 17 percent of American consumers have an annual household income of $100,000 or more, that wealthy contingent accounts for fully 28 percent of those with broadband connectivity.

Larry Gerbrandt, head of Nielsen Analytics, argued that those demographics present an opportunity for advertisers.

"Advertisers and programmers using broadband have a unique advantage in the increasingly competitive advertising world," Gerbrandt said in a statement.