United States: A 2009 Leader in Broadband Usage

by Pamela Hilliard Owens on January 8, 2010

Broadband Graphic

Dial-up Internet access is becoming a distant memory in most areas of the United States as broadband usage becomes more common. A recent study by Cisco Systems revealed that the U.S. ranks among the top nations worldwide in Internet broadband consumption volume per user. To achieve the figures of U.S. Internet broadband usage, the study divided the amount of Internet traffic data obtained from Cisco’s 2009 Visual Networking Index by the measurements of IP traffic per user as compiled by Internet World Stats.

The average U.S. Internet user consumes 14.25 GB of bandwidth per month. This is compared to 13.35 GB per user in Western Europe and 9.90 GB of bandwidth per user in Japan. South Korea leads the world in Internet bandwidth usage at 24.5GB per user per month.

As widespread Internet usage grows and evolves, broadband network providers are working closely with regulatory agencies to help ensure that all Americans have equal and easy access to the Internet. The Federal Communications Commission is in the process of developing a National Broadband Plan. The two major networking platform in the U.S., cable and satellite, are available to 80% of U.S. households and businesses; meanwhile wireless networking and other options are expanding their reach.

There are almost 1,400 broadband providers in the United States. Maintaining, upgrading, and expand the U.S high-speed Internet infrastructure entails an annual investment of almost US $60 billion. The ultimate goal of the 1996 U.S. Telecommunications Act is to ensure that all consumers in all areas of the United States, including rural, isolated, high-cost areas have universal access to high-speed Internet broadband service. Demographic groups that are specially targeted include low-income consumers, libraries, schools, and health care providers in rural areas.

There has been a lot of talk in recent years about the phenomenon called “The Digital Divide”: where some people, businesses or groups have easy and relatively inexpensive access to high-speed broadband service while many, many others do not. Just a few short years ago, having a landline telephone was all that was needed to “stay connected”. Today, people without high-speed Internet access are quite unconnected. In order for the United States and other Western countries to stay at the top of the rankings in telecommunication access, it is imperative that everyone everywhere can get online.

Did you like this post? TheTelecomBlog.com publishes daily news, editorial, thoughts, and controversial opinion—you can subscribe by: RSS, or by Email.

Written by: Pamela Hilliard Owens.

Follow TheTelecomBlog by RSS, Twitter, or Friendfeed.

Previous post:

Next post: