FCC releases data on internet access

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released its most recent report on access in the United States to fixed and mobile Internet connections, including information on the gap between current service levels and the benchmark Internet connection speeds recommended under the Commission’s National Broadband Plan.

According to the Commission’s report, entitled “Internet Access Services: Status as of December 31, 2011,” 58% of fixed Internet connections to households now meet or exceed the speed tier that most closely approximates the target set in the National Broadband Plan of 3 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 768 kilobits per second (kbps) upstream. This penetration rate for high-speed service compares with just 53% at the end of 2010.

At the same time, high-speed Internet access for subscribers of mobile wireless service continues to outpace the growth of fixed high-speed services. At the end of 2011, 22% of mobile subscribers had access to high-speed service, a 70% increase over the 13% penetration rate achieved by the end of 2010.

Without accounting for speed, Internet connections overall are growing. By the end of 2011, there were nearly 230 million Internet connections offering access at speeds of at least 200 kpbs, a 27% increase over 2010. Overall growth is being driven by dramatic increases in mobile connections, which increased by 46% in 2011. With 142 million subscribers, the number of mobile Internet connections was 60% greater than the 88 million fixed Internet connections at the end of the year.

Read the complete text of the FCC’s report on Internet access.