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Wireless broadband dominates broadband growth in FCC Broadband Report

Evidence continues to mount that the broadband sector is increasingly competitive and that it is not the permanent cable/DSL "duopoly" that net neutrality supporters claim. The FCC just released its biannual report on high speed of broadband adoption and the new evidence showing more competition is powerful.

The most important takeaway from the FCC's report is that 58% or 7.9m of the 11.0m total broadband adds over the first six months of 2006 were wireless broadband -- NOT DSL or cable modem.  That's not how a "permanent DSL/Cable duopoly" behaves -- is it?

  • Specifically, of the 11.0m total broadband additions in 1H06, 58% or 7.9m were wireless broadband, 23% or 3.1m were DSL and 15% or 2.0m were cable modems.(See Table 1 in the FCC report.)
  • Also remarkable was that wireless broadband grew 350% in six months from 3.1m to 11.0m and 2,900% in 12 months from .4m to 11.0m.
    • Wireless broadband is clearly the future of broadband and broadband competition.
  • Now 17% or 11m of all the 64.6m high speed lines in the U.S. are wireless broadband.
    • In other words, the common 98% market share number that net neutrality supporters like to attribute to DSL/Cable modems and to "prove" a "duopoly" --  is simply wrong.
    • The FCC data on Table 1 of the FCC report indicate that:
      • 36% or 23.5m lines were a type of DSL;
      • 44% or 28.5m lines were cable modem;
      • 17% or 11.0m lines were wireless broadband;
      • 1% or .7m lines were fiber; and
      • 2% or .9m lines were other technologies.
        • That means DSL and cable modems have 80% market share not the mythical 98% number net neutrality supporters claim. 
        • Moreover, just six months ago, the FCC data said that DSL and cable had 91% market share.
        • Some DSL/cable duopoly, if their market share falls from 91% to 80% in just six months!

Net neutrality supporters also like to claim that the market is not delivering broadband to all Americans fast enough. Again the FCC data in Table 15 of the report disprove that assertion.

  • In the last six months, we've gone from:
    • 93% to 96% of U.S. zip codes that have at least 2 broadband providers;
    • 81% to 87% of U.S. zip codes that have at least 3 broadband providers; and
    • 53% to 63% of U.S. zip codes that have at least 5 broadband providers. 
  • Furthermore, the report says 93% of Americans can get cable modems and 79% can get DSL.
    • (In the previous report this summer the FCC said satellite was available to 88% of zip codes.)
  • Broadband competition is obviously vibrant from the FCC data, and making extraordinary progress: America has added 60m of its 64m high speed lines in just the last six years! 

I am interested in hearing how net neutrality proponents will twist this powerful data and progress into being a "failure."

  • And don't think they won't try and characterize it as a 'failure' because if they can't pull the wool over people's eyes that there is a "duopoly problem" to solve, no one will buy their big government net neutrality regulatory "solution."