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FCC Report: High-Speed Broadband Connections Rose 10% in First Half of ‘08

The FCC has released the last set of high-speed broadband data based on benchmarks it has since said were not good enough. They showed that as of June 30, 2008, high-speed connections increased by 10% in the first half of 2008, with cable modem service continuing to claim the largest share of that business.

That standard defined high speed as at least 200 kilobits per second in only one direction and counted as few as one connection per zip code as establishing existing service to that zip code.

By that measure, high-speed connections increased from 121.2 million to 132.8 million. That was on top of a 20% increase from 101 million in the last half of 2007.

The new figure is over double the 65 million high-speed connections in June 2006.

Cable modem service claimed 46.7% of the 132.8 million total, with DSL at 34.1% and "other types" at 16.4%, which included satellite, mobile wireless and broadband over power lines. Another 2.7% was for fiber to the home and .1% from traditional phone lines.

Advanced services, defined as more than 200 kpbs in both directions, were also up 10% during the first half of 2008 to 88.4 million. Of those, 55.5% were at least 2.5 mbps in their fastest direction. Cable claimed 49.2% of those lines.

Cable provided high-speed or advanced service to 96% of its households, while those speeds were available to 83% of incumbent LEC households.

The FCC release announcing the new data made it clear that it was based on a defunct standard. The FCC is collecting new data to help it come up with a national broadband rollout plan by next February.

In fact, it spent the first page explaining how the data had come to be considered "insufficiently granular or precise," how the data for the new form 477 will be better, and did not get to the actual results until page 2.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has pledged to collect better data across the board.