RealTime IT News

Broadband Use Soars

By Jeremy Jarrell

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reported that the number of home and business broadband users increased to 42 percent last year. By year's end, the total total number of subscribers speeding to the Internet reached 28.2 million.

The FCC defines "high-speed lines" as those services that supply speeds, in either incoming or outgoing directions, greater than 200 kilobits per second (kbps).

Asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) service represented the most significant increase among the various types of high-speed connections, jumping to 7.7 million lines, a 47 percent increase.

Cable-modem service saw a 45 percent increase, reaching 16.4 million lines for the year. Satellite or wireless connections, fiber high-speed connections, and wireline services other than ADSL comprised the remaining 2.3 million subscriptions.

Of the 28.2 million high-speed connections in place by the end of 2003, 20.3 million were "advanced service lines," which the FCC defines as those that provide speeds exceeding 200 kbps in both incoming and outgoing directions. Advanced service lines of all types increased as a whole by 65 percent during the year, with a 25 percent jump over the second six-month period alone, from 16.3 million to 20.3 million lines.

Facilities-based providers file statistics regarding high-speed connection services to the FCC twice annually. This program, implemented in 2000, also requires providers with a minimum of 250 high-speed connections within a given state to report state-level data. The information collected enables the FCC to better monitor and evaluate the use of advanced telecommunications nationwide.