The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reported a 32 per cent increase in the number of US broadband subscribers during 2005.
Total broadband internet connections across the country increased by 10.4 million lines in 2005, according to the organisation, and VoIP use is expected to more than triple.
The FCC redefined broadband or high-speed lines on 30 June 2005 as services that deliver connection speeds in excess of 200Kbps in at least one direction.
This definition was expanded to include advanced service lines where connection speeds exceed 200Kbps in both directions. This clarification allows for more detailed data collection regarding broadband penetration and trends.
All facilities-based broadband providers are now required to report basic information to the FCC, such as services offered and types of customers served.
Before the June 2005 change, those service providers with fewer than 250 high-speed connections were not obliged to report data.
Nearly 90 per cent of the 42.9 million reported high-speed lines were residential, with cable modems servicing 61 per cent of that market and ADSL accounting for 37.2 per cent.
The remainder consists of SDSL at 0.4 per cent, fibre connections to the end user location at 0.2 per cent, and 1.1 per cent for other methods such as satellite, power line and terrestrial fixed or mobile wireless.
Advanced services lines showed a 60 per cent increase in subscribers, bringing the total number of broadband lines with both upstream and downstream speeds in excess of 200Kbps to 37.7 million primarily residential lines.
Of these, 61.8 per cent had speeds of at least 2.5Mbps in the fastest direction, generally downstream.
As with high-speed lines, the majority of subscribers are being serviced by cable modems (64.9 per cent), while only 33.9 per cent reported using ASDL lines, and 0.5 per cent were symmetric DSL (SDSL) or traditional wireline connections.
Fibre connections accounted for 0.2 per cent of the whole, while other types of connections came in at 0.5 per cent. This includes satellite, power line and terrestrial fixed or mobile wireless.
Due to this trend of increasing broadband penetration, US VoIP users are expected to more than triple in the next four years, jumping from 10.3 million to 44 million in 2010, the FCC noted.
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