A report released this week by the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows a sharp decline in U.S. broadband growth over the past two years, during which the rate of broadband uptake fell from 40% between March 2005- March 2006 to 12% for the year ending on March 31, 2007. Pew based its study on telephone surveys, conducted between February and March of this year, of 2,200 adult Americans. According to that study, 52% of urban residents currently subscribe to high-speed Internet services, compared to 49% of suburban residents and 31% of rural residents. Predictably, broadband uptake was found to be strongest in households with annual incomes over $75,000, where 75% of adults have access to high-speed service. Conversely, only 30% of households with incomes under $30,000 have high-speed Internet service. Minority populations were also found to have lower rates of broadband uptake. Noting that, “once you get near 50% of the market, sustaining growth becomes more challenging,” Pew associate research director John Horrigan attributed the drop-off in broadband growth to the fact that most of the consumers with the greatest appetite for broadband—affluent residents in urban areas—have already signed up for the service. Quipping that, “the low-hanging fruit was picked,” Horrigan said “you’re left with people who are less intense Internet users” who “aren’t processing a lot of bits per month” and who “don’t have the demand for high speed.”