The US still trails its OECD counterparts in terms of broadband penetration, speed and affordability. Nevertheless, the market is currently witnessing significant investment activity in fibre deployments, HFC upgrades and mobile broadband network rollout. Much of the investment in fibre is being undertaken by a significant number of smaller players and municipalities rather than the two key telcos, which are concentrating on a hybrid fibre/copper network and limiting future upgrades beyond what has already been achieved. Broadband services in most regions still lack effective competition, with the AT&T and Verizon managing an effective duopoly in many areas of the country. Municipal activity, often geared at breaking this stranglehold and introducing competition and innovation, continues to be stymied by lobbying pressure from these main telcos, which has led to almost half of the states banning or restricting municipal or state-led infrastructure projects.
A number of important policy statements have been made by the government and FCC indicating that policy-makers and regulators alike, concerned about the comparatively slow pace of US broadband developments, recognise the need for substantial structural change and regulatory reform. In addition, there is growing recognition of the importance of a trans-sectoral approach to broadband networks including, for instance, the health, education and energy sectors, in order to fully realise the benefits of the nascent digital economy.
This report provides overviews, analysis, relevant statistics and subscriber forecasts on the US cable, DSL, FttH, WiFi and WiMAX broadband markets.
Verizon stops selling stand-alone DSL service; NTIA reports on 2012 funding progress; FCC revises rules to allow WCS license holders to use 30MHz of spectrum in the 2.3GHz band; new rules to shape e-health developments; WhiteFi launches using analogue TV spectrum; FCC issues ‘Gigabit City Challenge’; telcos’ operating and financial data to Q4 2012; market developments to May 2013.