‘Slow’ sites at risk from boom in high-speed users, says Nielsen

More than half of all internet users now access the Web using a high-speed connection – more than 128 kilobytes per second (kps) – allowing them to play the latest games and download videos and music much faster. And websites that cannot handle such high-speed traffic will be shunned in favour of those that can, new research suggests.

Gabrielle Prior, European internet analyst at Nielsen/NetRatings, which conducted the research, says: “As the number of high-speed surfers increases in the UK, websites will need to adapt, update and enhance their content to retain their visitors and encourage new ones. In the future, sites will be ‘sped’ out of the market, not priced out.”

Surfers with high-speed connections also spend twice as long online as those without – an average of more than 32 hours a month – and view more than three times as many pages – on average 1,444 a month.

A number of sites have already tailored their content to the demands of the high-speed audience, so that more than 75 per cent of all visitors are connecting at over 128kps. For example, 80 per cent of BSkyB site visitors, 81 per cent of Blueyonder visitors and 85.5 per cent of WinMX visitors connect at high speed,

The Nielsen/NetRatings figures show that 22.8 million UK consumers regularly access the Web from home every month, a 15 per cent increase over the past year.

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