Declan McCullagh reports on 70% growth in last year:
- The Federal Communications Commission’s biannual report said there were approximately 16.2 million broadband customers as of June 2002, up from 9.6 million a year earlier and 12.8 million six months before. Because the FCC generally counts a business or household as one customer, the actual number of Americans with broadband access at home or at work is far higher.
The remarkable growth rate is due almost entirely to the increasing popularity of cable modems and DSL (digital subscriber line) connections, which together account for about 90 percent of broadband links and the vast majority of the increase. The remainder of the high-speed market is shared by ISDN, fiber, satellite, or fixed wireless connections, which have enjoyed a rate of growth in the single digits.
….Cable modems are still the most popular, with 9.1 million subscribers and a 29 percent rate of increase from Dec. 2001 to June 2002. DSL is next, with 5.1 million subscribers and a 29 percent rate of increase during the same time.
The report suggests that broadband services are available to almost everyone who wants them, which could make it more difficult for Congress to pass a broadband-spending law when politicians return next month. “Our analysis indicates that 98 percent of the country’s population lives in the 84 percent of zip codes where a provider reports having at least one high-speed service subscriber,” the report says. [CNET]
At this rate we’ll be a broadband nation in a few more years, just like Korea. A report in the NY Times a couple of weeks ago indicated that the price of broadband was still an issue to many Americans.