The FCC has approved the regulated use of the “white spaces” between and among the unused analog TV channels, for unlicensed devices. With the transition to digital television by February 2009, the soon to be empty analog channels can be used for other purposes. Some estimate that wireless providers could use the lower frequency TV spectrum to provide universal broadband access for every household in America for as little as $10 per month (Calabrese and Scott 2006). In other news, among active Internet users, broadband penetration in the US grew to 92.08% in October 2008, up 0.28 percentage points over last month.
Faster than any other consumer technology, broadband achieved more than 50% adoption according to Pew Internet. Iceland leads the EU27 in household broadband penetration, according to a survey by EUROSTAT. Among active Internet users, broadband grew to 86.3% in November 2007.
Japan has the fastest broadband speeds and the lowest cost per megabit per second of all countries surveyed, according to recent data from the OECD (see Figures 1-3). Japan enjoys costs per megabit over four times lower than that of the US. Iceland fell three places from third to sixth in global broadband penetration from Q4 2006 to Q2 2007, while the US remained at 15th place (see Figure 4). Ireland led all countries in net growth of broadband penetration per 100 inhabitants (see Figure 5). Meanwhile, in the US broadband penetration grew to 85.91% among active Internet users, up 0.6 percentage points over September 2007.
Countries in Western Europe are growing at a faster pace in broadband subscribers than the US and Canada. Confirming the broadband trend from last month’s report Western European countries are adding subscribers at faster rate than North America, according to a recent report by Point Topic. Meanwhile in the US, broadband penetration grew 0.56 percentage points to 85.31% among active Internet users in September 2007.
Broadband penetration in the EU is now on par with the US and Japan, according to a bi-annual broadband survey from the European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA). ECTA attributes the 16% growth in broadband lines over the last six months to increased competition from new telecom entrants employing local loop unbundling and cable. Meanwhile in the US, broadband penetration jumped 1.32 percentage points to 84.75% among active Internet users in August 2007.
Reversing a previous trend, the US moved up from 25th to 24th in broadband penetration worldwide in the first quarter of 2007 (see Figure 1). At the high end of the broadband spectrum, South Korea retains its lead over Hong Kong, Monaco, and Iceland in household broadband penetration. At current growth rates however, Hong Kong should pass South Korea in the summer of 2007 to become the leading nation in broadband penetration. Meanwhile, broadband penetration among active Internet users grew to 83.43% in US homes in June, up 0.2 percentage points from 83.23% in June 2007.
Google’s YouTube leads all video sites in unique users, stickiness, and growth over the past year. Combining YouTube with Google Video, Google dominates the top video sharing sites, with over 4.4 times the users as its nearest competitor. Despite accounting for a small fraction of the files on the Internet, web videos from YouTube alone account for more than 10% of the traffic. That is why video optimization is important for web site performance and saving bandwidth. Broadband penetration among active Internet users grew to 83.23% in US homes in June, up 1.05 percentage points from 82.18% in May 2007.
53% of all US households now subscribe to a broadband high-speed Internet service at home, according to Leichtman Research Group. Broadband services now account for about 72% of all home Internet subscriptions – compared to 60% last year. Broadband adoption is strongly tied to household income. Just 45% of households with annual incomes below $30,000 subscribe to an Internet service at home – compared to 92% of households with annual incomes above $75,000. Broadband penetration among active Internet users grew to 82.18% in US homes in May, up over 10 percentage points from 71.76% last year.
In our April bandwidth report we reported that the US dropped to 15th out of 30 countries surveyed by the OECD. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) says that the broadband penetration data reported by the OECD is not an adequate measure of a nation’s relative position in broadband technology. The ITIF suggests that adding speed and price to the equation would show a more complete picture of a nation’s broadband rankings. Calculated in this way the US ranks 12th in global broadband penetration, two spots behind Canada at 10th overall (see Table 1). Turkey paid the highest price for high-speed broadband at $115.76 per month while Japan paid the least for high-speed broadband service at $0.27 per month.
US broadband penetration broke 80% among active Internet users for the first time in February. Although broadband uptake has slowed over the past two quarters, US broadband growth shows no signs of a saturated plateau. North of the border, Canadians spend more time online than any other country, according to comScore Networks. Canadians view over one-third more web pages than the average US user, holding a 14 point lead in broadband penetration over the US.