U.S. Broadband Access Continues to Swell

Rhett Pardon
WASHINGTON — Broadband penetration in the United States continues to lag behind other countries but still increased 15 percent during the first half of 2004, the Federal Communications Commission said Wednesday.

That statistic brings the sound of Christmas bells to the ears of the online adult industry as the community sees continued growth of potential customers. Year-over-year, high-speed broadband use rose 38 percent, the FCC said.

The federal agency said that there are now 32.5 million broadband lines in the United States. The FCC defines high-speed Internet coaxial connections as those exceeding 200 kilobits per second.

Broadband connections over digital lines grew 20 percent in the first six months of 2004 to 11.4 million and 49 percent in the 12 months ended in June. Cable modem connections, however, rose 13 percent in the first half of 2004 to 18.6 million lines. The remaining 2.5 million high-speed connections include wireless, satellite and fiber.

But the United States still appears to be tailing other countries in broadband penetration rates — it ranked 11th in 2002 among major economies in broadband use, behind Hong Kong, Canada, Belgium and others, according to the International Telecommunications Union.

Additional statistics relative to the broadband survey — including state-by-state, population density and household income information, ranked by zip codes — can be found here.