The FCC reports that growth of broadband Internet connections slowed in the first half of 2002 compared with the second half of 2001.
A new Commission study found that high-speed lines connecting homes and businesses to the Internet increased by 27 percent during the first half of 2002, from 12.8 million to 16.2 million lines, compared to a 33 percent increase, from 9.6 million to 12.8 million lines, during the second half of 2001.
Though growth slowed, more parts of the country became connected. At the end of June 2002, the presence of high-speed service subscribers was reported in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and in 84 percent of the nation's zip codes, compared to 79 percent six months earlier.
There was a slowing of the growth of both DSL and cable modem connections. High-speed asymmetric DSL lines in service increased by 29 percent during the first half of 2002, from 3.9 million to 5.1 million lines, compared to a 47 percent increase, from nearly 2.7 million to 3.9 million lines, during the preceding six months.
High-speed Internet service over coaxial cable systems increased by 30 percent during the first six months of 2002, from 7.1 million to 9.2 million lines. By comparison, cable modem service increased by 36 percent, from nearly 5.2 million to 7.1 million lines, during the second half of 2001.
The least populated areas had the highest growth, while urban areas saw a slight rise in broadband users. High-speed service subscribers were reported present in 99 percent of the most densely populated deciles of zip codes at the end of June 2002, compared to 98 percent a year earlier, and in 50 of the least densely populated deciles, compared to 37 percent a year earlier.
For zip codes ranked by median household income, high-speed subscribers were reported present in 98 percent of the top one-tenth of zip codes and in 69 percent of the bottom one-tenth of zip codes at the end of June 2002. The comparable figures a year earlier were 96 percent and 59 percent.
The information was collected from Internet service providers and includes data as of June 30, 2002. Though the FCC offered no reasons for the decrease in growth, it is widely perceived that a sluggish U.S. economy coupled with the continued high cost of broadband connectivity is to blame for the downturn.
The statistical summary of the new data can be downloaded from www.fcc.gov/wcb/stats.