By PETER SVENSSON AP Technology Writer
NEW YORK (AP) -- Middle- and working-class Americans signed up for high-speed Internet access in record numbers in the past year, apparently lured by a price war among phone companies.
Broadband adoption increased 59 percent from March last year to March2006 among U.S. households with incomes between $30,000 and $50,000, according to a survey to be released Monday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
It increased 40 percent in households making less than $30,000 a year. Among blacks, it increased 121 percent, according to the study.
Middle- and lower-income households still lag higher-income households when it comes to broadband adoption. Among the $30,000-$50,000 households, 43 percent now have broadband, compared to 68 percent for those making more than $75,000.
Overall, 42 percent of adult Americans, or 84 million people, have broadband, compared to 30 percent a year ago.
Phone companies last year started slashing prices for broadband service that uses regular phone line to establish a digital subscriber line, or DSL. Both Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. introduced $14.99 per month offers.