The impact of broadband

Paul Boag

Today the BBC technology website led with a story about how the Office of National Statistics has released figures which show that the number of people connected to broadband has almost doubled over the last year.

This means that 27% of the UK net connections are now broadband while the number over 90% of homes in the UK now have access to broadband. The BBC website attibute this rise largely to the fierce competition over price which has dramatically closed the gap between the price of broadband and dial up.

What does this mean to the way we surf the web?

With the proliferation of broadband access comes a dramatic shift in the way people use the web. Page views skyrocket by approximately 130% and time spent online increases significantly. In short people view more and spend more time viewing it.

However the most profound change, and the number one reason people give for the moving to broadband, is the move towards streaming media and other bandwidth intensive technologies.

In the US, streaming media applications are not only driving broadband uptake, which has trebled over the last year, but also affecting the way in which surfers use the Internet.

Streaming media enhances the users experience, and according to Nielsen’s study, increases time spent online by as much as 23%.

With broadband usage expected to continue to grow dramatically here in the UK, now is the time to introduce streaming media into existing websites. Not only do these technologies improve user experience and better help you to communicate key marketing messages, they also dramatically increase dwell time.

Whether it is streaming video, flash interaction, panoramics or a full blown soundtrack, now is the time to prepare your site for the broadband revolution.