InStat: U.S. Broadband download speeds up 34 percent in 2010

While the latest economic crisis may have driven consumers to skip their weekly trips to the spa or bring lunch to work, one thing consumers haven't skimped on is broadband service.  

Similar to its earlier report on worldwide broadband trends, In-Stat's annual survey of U.S. broadband household revealed that service provider efforts to increase speed resonated well with their respective customer bases. In-Stat reported that downstream speeds were up 34 percent on average in 2010.

Average broadband download speeds in the survey was 9.54 Mbps, up from 7.12 Mbps in 2009.

In 2010, average downstream speed overall last mile access technologies increased by 71 percent over the course of the past two years. Not surprisingly, cable modem and Fiber to the Home (FTTH) speeds showed the greatest increases during the period.  

Evidence of that trend was revealed throughout 2010 by a number of incumbent telcos and cable operators.

Cable operators such as Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, and Time Warner continued to make progress in expanding their each of 50 and even 100 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 offerings over their existing HFC networks.

Incumbent telcos such as CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL), Qwest (NYSE: Q), TDS Telecom (NYSE: TDS), and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) launched a number of high speed offerings in 2010. Relying on a hybrid copper/fiber Fiber to the Node-like architecture, CenturyLink and TDS Telecom both launched their own 25 Mbps offerings over ADSL2+ and VDSL2, while Qwest continued to attract customers to its 40 Mbps and lower speed tier VDSL2 service. On the FTTH side, Verizon launched a 150 Mbps/35 Mbps tier for both residential and business customers.  

Mike Paxton, Principal Analyst for In-Stat said "the survey also highlights that the majority of U.S. broadband subscribers are generally satisfied with the current speed of their broadband service," adding that "broadband service providers are managing to stay ahead of the consumer demand curve for bandwidth."

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