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More Than One Billion Have Internet Access - 250 Million Households Have Broadband

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By Marc J. Rauch, Exec. VP & Co-Publisher

Auto Central – May 18, 2006: According to Worldwide Online Access, a new report created and released by, in this 10th year of the “public” Internet there are now more than one billion people worldwide with access to the Internet, of which some 800-plus million regularly use it. In addition, the study states that about 250 million households worldwide have “broadband” quality connectivity. Using U.S. household statistics, this would translate to about 550 million people worldwide that have broadband access. Furthermore, when adding in commercial/office access and usage, both totals are pushed even higher (as some workers do not have Internet and/or broadband connectivity at home).

Thinking back to the relatively short time ago in 1996/7, when representatives of auto industry companies like Honda and Prietive Group publicly stated that the Internet was nothing more than a “passing fad,” I really have to laugh at their lack of vision (I told them so back then, and don’t mind reminding them now).

At current levels, Internet and broadband penetration now rivals cable TV penetration in many markets. And, of course, as Internet/broadband usage grows, it will become the dominant media (although in time the “Internet” will include the distribution of all electronic media, blurring the distinctions in much the same way that the term “television” now comfortably encompasses the once divergent video broadcasting channels identified as VHF, UHF, and cable).

As a side note, the major roadblock to the great opportunity that a “one-wire” solution would offer is the installation of gatekeepers, who would be able to limit (easy) access to all the content that is now – and would be – available. The very last thing that we need is for a corporate pig like Cox Communications to be controlling the Internet.

The report shows that the U.S., as a single country, continues to be number one in Internet usage. However, as a continental region North America (U.S. and Canada) are third behind Asia-Pacific and Europe, respectively. Needless to say, U.S. usage numbers should eventually fall below that of China and India.

The report covers a wide range of Internet usage issues and should be a part of every auto-marketer’s library. For more information about and for subscription information visit