Internet access services are a key metric for measuring progress in meeting the National Broadband Plan goals. A new report by the FCC, the Internet Access Services report, gauges the development of Internet connectivity and speeds in the past six months.
For the first half of 2010, fixed-location Internet access connections appear to have flattened out, growing by only 1 percent (from 81 to 82 million), while mobile wireless connections increased 35 percent (from 56 to 71 million). Yet, fixed access still dominates the field in terms of connection speed, outpacing mobile wireless in terms of the FCC's benchmark speed of 4 mbps. The report also found that:
- 63 percent of US homes have Internet connections
- Only 31 percent of the households' with Internet access service meet the FCC's definition of broadband — 4 mbps download and 1 mbps upload
- Less than 3 percent of fixed connections are fiber to the home.
With 60 percent of all reportable connections slower than 3 mbps in the downstream direction as of mid-year 2010, increasing the number of high speed broadband connections needs to be a priority.
As part of the recently announced AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile USA, AT&T has committed to build out next generation LTE at speeds of at least 10 mbps down stream to 95 percent of the country.
The FCC report also found that VoIP and wireless phone subscriptions are on the rise, while the number of voice-only access lines declined by 8 percent. 28 percent of all wireline connections were VoIP as of June 2010.