Released in March 2013, the summary highlights record investments in fixed and mobile broadband infrastructure. According to the Commission, nearly $250 billion in private capital has been invested in wired and wireless broadband networks in the U.S. since 2009, outstripping private investment in any other sector of the U.S. economy.
This investment includes nearly $30 billion in U.S. wireless networks in 2012 (a 40% increase since 2009), and a projected investment of $35 billion in 2013. The growth in U.S. investment rates in mobile broadband far surpass those in Asia, where investment has grown a meager 4% in four years, and in Europe, where investments in wireless networks are unchanged. Importantly, the Commission notes that investments in wireless broadband infrastructure have also created more than 1.6 million jobs over the past six years.
In connection with fixed, high-speed broadband access, the Commission estimates that average fixed broadband speeds have nearly doubled since 2009, with more than 80% of U.S. homes now having access to Internet speeds of at least 100 megabits per second (up from just 20% of U.S. homes in 2009). By comparison, the Commission says that networks capable of 30 megabits per second reach only 50% of households in the European Union.
The release of the Commission’s summary of its broadband accomplishments corresponds with the resignation of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who championed expanded broadband access as a key part of the Commission’s agenda during his four year term.