& cplSiteName &

FCC Data: Fixed Broadband Still Growing

Mari Silbey
12/30/2013
50%
50%

The latest Internet Access Services report from the FCC confirms that American broadband subscriptions are on the rise.

As of the end of 2012, the latest time period for which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has data, 69.7% of fixed Internet connections met the broadband speed threshold of 3 Mbit/s downstream and 768 kbit/s upstream. That's a measurable increase over the 64% statistic cited only six months prior. Total fixed Internet subscriptions also rose from 90 million to 92.6 million in the second half of the year. (See US Still Suffers Broadband Divide.)

The mobile broadband trends are even more dramatic. Only 37.8% of mobile connections met the speed requirements for broadband classification, according to the FCC's report, but that number marks a significant improvement over the 28% figure reported six months earlier. Total mobile Internet connections also jumped from 153 million in the middle of 2012 to 169.2 million at the end of that year.

While the FCC's broadband access report paints a rosy picture, there are some mitigating factors to consider. Most notably, the jump in mobile connections coincides with an apparent growth trend in the percentage of American households that rely on wireless service as their sole source of Internet access.

According to the Pew Internet Home Broadband 2013 report published in August, 10% of households use only mobile connections to access the Internet. In contrast, an expert from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies estimated last March that the number of mobile-only subscribers was down around 7%. While the number from the Joint Center was only estimation, the suggestion that mobile access is substituting for fixed Internet in a growing segment of the population makes sense in the context of other evidence. Smartphone penetration continues to rise, and many households can't afford both a higher mobile phone bill and the cost of fixed Internet service at home.

There is also the issue of disparity in Internet access across different states. In the FCC's latest report, Massachusetts took the prize as the state with the highest percentage of households claiming fixed broadband connections with a total of 77%. New Jersey wasn't far behind with 76%. However, at the bottom of the state list, Mississippi pulled down the average with a measly 24% fixed broadband penetration rate.

Meanwhile, cable dominated as the most popular form of Internet access across the country. In the second half of 2012, the number of cable broadband subscriptions grew nearly 17% to 44.1 million. Asymmetric DSL broadband subs grew just over 1% to top 13 million. And fiber-to-the-premises broadband connections increased 7.07% to hit 6.43 million.

— Mari Silbey, Special to Light Reading Cable

(21)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
GeoTel
50%
50%
GeoTel,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/3/2014 | 2:17:27 PM
Consistency
Getting to see growth that is that significant in such a short amount of time is impressive and encouraging! Who knows where speeds for mobile data or FTTH will be in two years...
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
1/2/2014 | 11:52:59 AM
Re: Mobile
Kind of like the Carlson Wireless trial in California?
davidhoffman
50%
50%
davidhoffman,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/2/2014 | 11:49:34 AM
Re: Mobile
In large metropolitan areas with dozens of OTA broadcast stations there is little, if any, TVWS. In many rural areas you not only have TVWS but completely empty ATSC channels.  The rural areas are where I envision TVWS providing a significant alternative to satellite or dialup internet access. I know several people who might benefit from getting such a service. We are not talking about some super Gigabit per second service. It would be something that in many cases would only meet the very bottom of the FCC definition of broadband, 3 Mbps down and 0.75 Mbps up I think it is.  One reason to use such low maximum data transfer rates would be to simplify administration of the subscriber accounts.  At such low data transfer rates, monthly caps that have to be tracked might be eliminated from consideration by the ISP.
msilbey
50%
50%
msilbey,
User Rank: Blogger
1/2/2014 | 9:51:56 AM
Re: Mobile
Karl- Interesting question. I took a quick look back through the report and couldn't tell. But I did notice that the FCC was actually using 3mbps/768kbps as a proxy for the broadband threshold rather than the actual demarcation of 4mbps/1mbps. Apparently their forms all had the lower number so they had to use that as a dividing line. In short, the number of actual broadband mobile connections may be even lower. 

 
msilbey
50%
50%
msilbey,
User Rank: Blogger
1/2/2014 | 9:51:56 AM
Re: Mobile
Karl- Interesting question. I took a quick look back through the report and couldn't tell. But I did notice that the FCC was actually using 3mbps/768kbps as a proxy for the broadband threshold rather than the actual demarcation of 4mbps/1mbps. Apparently their forms all had the lower number so they had to use that as a dividing line. In short, the number of actual broadband mobile connections may be even lower. 

 
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/1/2014 | 1:24:13 PM
Re: Mobile
I think the loss of cable VoIP customers is also going to accelerate as people try to offset soaring programming costs by trimming their home voice and going cell only -- especially as VoLTE arrives and voice quality improves. That of course means a much harder push in 2014 for caps and meters.

That 37.8% mobile metric is interesting. I couldn't see it in the report yet, but by "mobile connecions" are they including feature phones?
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
12/31/2013 | 1:05:40 PM
Re: Mobile
Is there enough TVWS spectrum available to make it viable?
DanJones
50%
50%
DanJones,
User Rank: Blogger
12/31/2013 | 1:04:28 PM
Re: Mobile
Interesting, thanks for the info.
davidhoffman
50%
50%
davidhoffman,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/31/2013 | 7:54:43 AM
Re: Mobile
A lot of people who use satellite ISPs transfer to cellular based ISPs if they can afford to set up the parabolic antennas, amplifiers, and other hardware needed to do so. I have helped several people set up Millenicom, Verizon, and Sprint accounts so that they can get either better than dialup internet access or get rid of satellite internet access. The move by Verizon to offer Home Fusion will probably be followed by other mobile operators creating similar offerings. 

The other area that is anticipated will be fixed location TV White Space utilization to provide internet access services in areas that presently have only dialup wired connectivity. 
msilbey
50%
50%
msilbey,
User Rank: Blogger
12/30/2013 | 11:21:16 PM
Re: Mobile
Interestingly, the threshold for broadband classification took into consideration the speeds that mobile carriers could deliver. (Blair Levin talked about this at some DC event a few years back.) The theory was that wireless provides would be there to pick up the slack from some of the wireline companies. 
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Clears $2B in Business Revenue

12|8|16   |     |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Breaux discusses how the third-largest US MSO will reach the $2 billion revenue mark this year and plans to hit $3 billion by 2021
LRTV Interviews
Can Cable Climb Upmarket?

12|7|16   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson and Alan Breznick assess cable's prospects for winning more enterprises in a landscape rocked by corporate M&A activity.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
TalkTalk Exec: Find Your North Star at Work

12|7|16   |   3:38   |   (1) comment


Women need to find their purpose, a professional North Star, and create a personal board for themselves, according to Alex Tempest, director of partners at TalkTalk Business.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon: Beware Unknown Unknowns

12|7|16   |   04:58   |   (0) comments


Chris Novak, director of the Verizon Enterprise Solutions Risk Team, explains that enterprises who don't conduct a thorough audit of their assets often leave some things unprotected because they don't know they exist. Many times these unprotected assets are part of corporate M&A activity but left unshielded they can become a hacker's playground, he tells Light ...
LRTV Interviews
ETSI's CTO Talks NFV, 5G & NGP

12|5|16   |   09:45   |   (0) comments


Adrian Scrase, CTO at standards body ETSI, talks about the various initiatives and specifications developments related to NFV, 5G and NGP (next-generation protocols) that will underpin next-gen networks.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (2) comments


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BTís Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
ITU: The Broadband Is Our Future

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Ultra-broadband Forum, Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, discussed how important it is for countries, companies and everybody to be working together to help to build the broadband and digital economies (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Tackling 5G in Dallas

11|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Here are our highlights of the 5G North America show in Dallas, Texas with Light Reading's Dan Jones.
Upcoming Live Events
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cable Nodes Becoming a Choke Point
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 12/5/2016
WiCipedia: After-School Coding, Salary Probing & Pro-Parenthood Companies
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 12/2/2016
Consolidated Snaps Up Fairpoint for $1.5B
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/5/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
A Mobile Safari Click Here
Literally.
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.