More Than Half Of U.S. Internet Connections Below FCC Standards

    March 21, 2011

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released two new reports on Internet access and telephone subscribership in the U.S.

The reports are based on data submitted by carriers to the FCC every six months. They track changes at the state and national level in the number of subscribers to Internet service in 72 combinations of speed, and the number of wireline, mobile and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephones subscribers.

The report found 60 percent of Internet connections were slower than 4 megabits per second (Mbps) a download speed identified by the FCC as the minimum bandwidth generally required for high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video.

Growth of fixed broadband service was flat at 1 percent in the first half of 2010, to 82 million connections.

Highlights from the telephone subscribership report include:

*Interconnected VoIP grew by 21% between June 2009 and June 2010.

*Conventional switched access lines (i.e., traditional wireline telephone lines) decreased by 8% between June 2009 and June 2010.

*28% of all residential wireline connections were interconnected VoIP as of June 2010.

*An estimated 77% of interconnected VoIP subscribers received service through a cable provider.

*The number of subscriptions to wireless phone service grew by 5% in the year.