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Internet penetration continues rise

September 13, 2004

Internet Retailer reports a Harris Interactive consumer surveyconducted in June and August found 73% of adults are now online, up from 69% eight months earlier, 67% in late 2002, 64% in 2001 and 63% in 2000. This translates into 156 million users, up 7% from late 2003.

Not only has there been an increase in the use of the net at home and work but there has also been a dramatic rise in the number of people using high speed or broadband connections.

The number of adults online at home has risen to 65%, up from 61% in 2003 and 57% in 2002 while those online at work have risen slightly to 34% from 31% in 2003 and 28% in 2002.

The Harris survey found 44% of adults use broadband at home and said “By far the most striking change in this new Harris Interactive research is the big increase in those with broadband connections.” Two years ago, only 22% of adults online had broadband connections. By October/December 2003, this had increased to 37%.

The survey found Internet demographics do not yet mirror our general population: 7% of those online are over age 65 compared to 15% of all adults who are over 65, 39% of those online did not go to college, compared to 47% of all adults, and 16% have incomes under $25,000, compared to 22% of all adults.

What does this mean for lawyers? One, those without an Internet presence to reach both current and prospective clients ought to think twice. Two, those lawyers using the Internet to market their services should make certain their Internet presence is doing the job for them.

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