27 July 2006

FCC's latest broadband report

The FCC releases regular reports on broadband penetration. The latest installment can be found here, and the press release and summary, here. The report shows a 33% increase in broadband connectivity in 2005 over previous years. In their summary, they point out

Providers list the Zip Codes in which they have at least one high-speed connection in service to an end user, and 99% of Zip Codes were listed by at least one provider. Our analysis indicates that more than 99% of the nation’s population lives in those Zip Codes. The most widely reported technologies by this measure were satellite (with at least some presence reported in 88% of Zip Codes), ADSL (in 82% of Zip Codes), and cable modem (in 57% of Zip Codes). ADSL and/or cable modem connections were reported to be present in 87% of Zip Codes


This raises some questions ... for example, how good is "at least one high speed connection in service to an end user" in a zip code as a measure of penetration, or as a measure of closing the digital divide? Also, the FCC includes satellite service as a broadband technology ... can you provide equivelent services over satellite as you can over terrestrial technologies? Why or why not?

As it happens, the CRTC (Canada) released a similar report today. How do the reports compare? Does one report provide better information than the other? How is this information differential useful for policy makers?

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2 comments:

SeungJae Shin said...

"At least one provider" is a very vague expression. In my area, according to the cable modemProvider (comcast) and DSL provider (Bell South), both broadband technologies are available (only to the apartment complex), but actually my home does not have any broadband connection available.

Anonymous said...

When you hear broadband providers or your colleagues and friends talking about "wireless" they could actually

be talking about two separate things:Wireless

Networking
, having a wire free computer in the house connected to a broadband connection.
Broadband" href="http://www.broadband.co.uk/">Wireless Broadband
, this is a special kind of broadband package

where you can use it at home, but also in certain places when you are away from home. All you need is your phone

number or pastcode to see if either of these broadband connections are available and you can check it at

title="broadband.co.uk" href="http://www.broadband.co.uk/">broadband.co.uk
.