Gutierrez Hails Dramatic U.S. Broadband Growth

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
January 31, 2008
News Media Contact: 
Todd Sedmak, (202) 482-7002, press@ntia.doc.gov
 

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) today released the report, “Networked Nation: Broadband in America, 2007,” that highlights the dramatic growth of broadband in the United States.  The report shows that the Administration’s technology, regulatory and fiscal policies have stimulated innovation and competition, and encouraged investment in the U.S. broadband market contributing to significantly increased accessibility of broadband services.

“Today’s report shows the nation’s broadband success story.  The President’s policies have made a significant impact on the availability and affordability of broadband in the United States,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos M. Gutierrez.  “The broadband policies put in place by the President have created a competitive environment to foster innovation and provide effective technologies, services and cost-effective solutions to revolutionize health care delivery, education, society and the economy.  We look forward to continuing our progress on this issue.”

Four years ago, President Bush established a national goal of universal, affordable broadband access for all Americans.  Since then, the United States has witnessed remarkable results in the growth of the broadband marketplace and the proliferation of broadband platforms and service options.  The existing data indicate that broadband is available to the vast majority of U.S. households:

  • According to the FCC’s 2006 data, broadband service was available in 99 percent of the nation’s zip codes, encompassing 99 percent of the nation’s population;
     
  • Since President Bush took office, the total number of broadband lines in the United States has grown by more than 1,100 percent from almost 6.8 million lines in December 2000, to 82.5 million in December 2006, according to the most recent FCC data. 
     
  • By December 2006, 91.5 percent of ZIP codes had three or more competing service providers and more than 50 percent of the nation’s ZIP codes had six or more competitors.

The report examines the comprehensive package of technology, regulatory, and fiscal polices implemented by the Administration to lower barriers to investment and create an environment in which broadband innovation and competition can flourish.
 
For example:

  • In the technology area, significant amounts of new radio spectrum are now available for advanced wireless services, creating opportunities for new licensed and unlicensed broadband services.  Also, new technologies such as Wi-Fi hotspots and broadband over power lines (BPL) have been fostered.
     
  • In the regulatory arena, new broadband infrastructure was freed from unnecessary legacy rules to level the playing field among competitive platforms and promote investment.
     
  • In the fiscal area, the Administration led the preservation of the Internet tax moratorium and reforms for the depreciation of assets in order to reduce tax burdens and increase the flow of capital into the broadband sector.

Collectively, these actions have produced real, measurable benefits in the marketplace in the form of robust, multi-modal competition that did not previously exist. Providers across a range of platforms (cable, fiber optic, satellite, fixed and mobile wireless, etc.) are introducing new and innovative service offerings on a regular basis. Competition in the broadband marketplace is intense and growing, and this competition is helping to drive down prices and increase the quality and variety of services for consumers.  With the dramatic increase in broadband availability over the past few years, consumers now have a myriad of choices. 

For a copy of the report, go to www.ntia.doc.gov.

NTIA is responsible for the development of the domestic and international telecommunications policy of the Executive Branch.

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