CITI issues “Broadband in America – 2nd Edition” report #broadband

As it prepared the 2010 National Broadband Plan the FCC commissioned The Columbia Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) to write a report summarizing the state of broadband development in the USA. The report, entitled Broadband in America was delivered in November 2009. Now, in July 2011 CITI has issued a follow-up – Broadband in America – 2nd Edition. The 176 page document, which includes plenty of meaty research, maps the explosive growth of wireless service in the interim period plus other developments including:

  • Advances in DSL, including ‘bonding’, will lead to speeds of up to 30mbps on copper.
  • AT&T and Verizon aim to provide 50 million homes with 10 Mb/s wire line by 2013.
  • Verizon expects to have 94% of the country covered by LTE – 10-12mbps – by 2013.
  • AT&T, Verizon, and Quest currently have 5.3m FTTH subscribers, but there are another 770 FTTH ISPs collectively serving another 1.9m premises.
  • When AT&T & Verizon finish deploying FIOS & U-Verse they will reach 40% of US households.
  • DOCSIS 3.0 deployment is patchy.
  • Broadband adoption will reach saturation at around 70% in 2014 with a split of 39% cable to 31% telco.
  • 12% of U.S. households still use dial-up and 19% don’t use the Internet at all.
  • Prices for wire line are expected to increase 2%/yr, and wireless up to 4%/yr.
  • Investment runs at about $33b/yr, increasingly on wireless.
  • Less than 50% of backbone capacity is being used.

CITI Internet Access chart

The latter half of the report is taken up by guest essays, including

  • Sharply contrasting views from Blair Levin and Eli Noam on the wire line vs wireless issue.
  • Raul Katz gives detailed figures on the economic impact of rural broadband.
  • D. Linda Garcia and Tarkan Rosenberg give a history lesson on the role of rural co-operatives in rolling out universal phone service, and then expound on the “diffusion model” as a means of getting through to that last 30% of holdouts.
  • Bruce Lincoln gives a practical blueprint for such a diffusion model with his “Advancing Community Broadband” scheme, involving setting up wi-fi networks, plus telework/telehealth centers, in low-income neighborhoods.