Last week the Federal Communication Commission’s Broadband Taskforce delivered a status report on the national broadband plan. Below are edited excerpts of the key points points they made:
- Actual broadband speeds lag advertised speeds by at least 50% and possibly more during the busy hours. Peak usage hours, typically 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., create network congestion and speed degradation. About 1% of users drive 20% of traffic, while 20% of users drive up to 80% of traffic.
- Preliminary analysis indicates that approximately three to six million people are unserved by basic broadband (speeds of 768 Kbps or less).
- The incremental cost to universal availability varies significantly depending on the speed of service, with preliminary estimates showing that the total investment required ranging from $20 billion for 768 Mbps-3 Mbps service to $350 billion for 100 Mbps or faster.
- Nearly two-thirds of Americans have adopted broadband at home, while 33 percent have access but have not adopted it, and another 4% say they have no access where they live.
- Wireless is increasingly moving to broadband, with smartphone sales projected to overtake sales of standard phones by 2011.
- The driving force behind national broadband plans in other nations has been competitiveness, job creation and innovation. Successful plans need four or more years of continuous effort and consistent funding sources.
- Over 70 percent of all high school students use the Internet as a primary source for homework.
- Consumers say online purchases save time and money. Yet 39 percent have strong worries about giving out personal or credit card information. These worries are heightened among low-income users, only 29 percent of whom have made purchases online, compared to 82 percent of upper income users.
- As of 2005, over 77 percent of Fortune 500 companies posted jobs and accepted applications solely online.
To see the complete document go to: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-293719A1.pdf