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Broadband Use Jumps in 2004
A 34 Increase in U.S. Can't Overcome Lag
By: SOA News Desk
Jul. 8, 2005 02:15 PM
The number of U.S. consumers and businesses with broadband service rose 34 percent in 2004, reaching almost 38 million lines, according to a recent FCC report. The growth still leaves the U.S. in 16th place worldwide in its percentage of broadband users, lagging more densely populated countries with smaller populations.
Approximately 5.4 million
subscribers were added during the second half of 2004, the FCC said, joining 4.3 milliion new subscribers in the first half of the year.
Cable companies led the charge, adding about 5 million customers during the year, a 30 percent increase to 21.4 million lines, while DSL subscribers grew more quickly on a percentage basis, rising 45 percent, or 4.3 million lines, to 13.8 million lines.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has made
eliminating regulatory hurdles to achieve that goal his top priority
since taking the reins of the agency earlier this year. "The
dramatic growth in broadband services depicted in this report proves
that we are well on our way to accomplishing the president's goal of
universal, affordable access to broadband by 2007," Martin said in an
opinion piece published on Thursday in The Wall Street Journal. "This means that we must treat all such
providers in the same manner -- free of undue regulation that can
stifle infrastructure investment," he said.
On the other side of the fence, Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy said, "Competitive Internet service providers are now history; the U.S. has a duopoly -- cable and telephone industry -- over broadband. Both cable and telephone have a long history of anti-competitive behavior."
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