The FCC has identified key broadband gaps in US broadband policy. A Harvard study commissioned by the FCC found that open access to broadband lines through local loop "unbundling" is one key factor in fostering widespread adoption of broadband in the US and other countries. Meanwhile in the US broadband penetration among active Internet users grew to 93.27%.
As part of its mission to present to congress a National Broadband Plan by mid-February 2010, the FCC commissioned a study by Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Using data from the OECD and other sources, the study found that open access "unbundling" policies in other countries is one key factor to widespread broadband adoption and lower prices. "While Congress adopted various open access provisions in the almost unanimously-approved Telecommunications Act of 1996, the FCC decided to abandon this mode of regulation for broadband in a series of decisions in 2001 and 2002." Making additional wireless spectrum available is another key factor, as wireless devices proliferate. "It appears that the United States opened the first decade of the 21st centuries in the top quintile in penetration and prices, and has been surpassed by other countries over the course of the decade."
US broadband penetration grew to 93.27% among active Internet users in October 2009. Dial-up users connecting at 56Kbps or less now make up 6.73% of active Internet users (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Web Connection Speed Trends - Home Users (US)
In October 2009, broadband penetration among active Internet users in US homes grew to 93.27%, up 2.3 percentage points fron 90.97% in September (see Figure 2). Note that in August broadband penetration was 93.52% among active Internet users.
As of Ocrober 2009, 97.49% of US workers connected to the Internet with broadband, up 0.92 percentage points from 96.57% in September 2009. Note that the October work penetration rate of 97.49% is down from the 98.65% peak in August 2009. Some 2.51% still connect at 56Kbps or less from work (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: Web Connection Speed Trends - Work Users (US)
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