More than 40 million (40.7 million) Americans subscribed to fixed broadband service with downstream rates greater than 6 Mbps and upload speeds above 768 kbps as of December 2012 – nearly doubling since December 2009, when 20.6 million Internet connections had download speeds greater than 6 Mbps. Growth in higher-speed connections outpaced overall growth in fixed broadband subscribers, which increased from 80 million to 92.6 million over the same period.
The rise in higher-speed connections is likely the result of increased use of video streaming – and it’s good news for broadband service providers, who increasingly are relying on customer speed upgrades for revenue growth.
Growth in connection speeds was even steeper on the mobile side. More than 31 million (31.6 million) mobile subscribers received speeds above 6 Mbps and upload speeds above 768 kbps as of December 2012 – more than doubling in just a single year. As of December 2011, only 14.2 million mobile users received speeds above 6 Mbps, the FCC said.
Here, too, the growth rate for high-speed connections was steeper than for mobile connections overall. The total number of mobile data subscribers was 169.1 million as of December 2012 – up from 142 million as of December 2011 and 56.3 million in December 2009.
Other highlights of the report, titled “Internet Access Services: Status as of December 31, 2012,” include:
- The number of mobile subscriptions with speeds above 200 kbps in at least one direction grew to more than 169 million as of December 2012 – up 19% in just one year. Over the same time period, fixed broadband subscriptions increased 5%.
- As of December 2012, there were 50 residential fixed-location connections per 100 households with connection speeds of at least 3 Mbps downstream and 768 kbps upstream.
- The number of connections with downstream speeds of at least 10 Mbps increased by 35% between December 2011 and December 2012, rising to 60 million connections.