There’s an interesting statistic in the Federal Communications Commission’s latest report on the state of U.S. broadband access services. The FCC took a look at locations by zip code, and estimated that 48 percent of U.S. households had, at the end of 2009, the ability to buy downstream service of at least 3 Mbps and upstream service of more than 200 kbps from at least three fixed-network providers.

Some 44 percent had the ability to buy such service from at least two fixed-network providers.

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Some 28 percent of households had the ability to buy service of at least 3 Mbps/768 kbps from at least three providers, while 48 percent had the ability to buy from at least two providers.

About 22 percent of househoulds could buy service of at least 6 Mbps/1.5 Mbps from at least two providers, while 57 percent could buy from at least one provider.

Some 20 percent of U.S. households could buy service of at least 10 Mbps from at least two providers, while 58 percent could buy service from at least one provider.

Adding in wireless providers, the FCC found that 58 percent of U.S. homes could buy wireless service of at least 3 Mbps/200 kbps from at least three providers, while 35 percent could buy from at least two providers and six percent had at least one provider.

About 40 percent of U.S. households could buy service of at least 3 Mbps/768 kbps from at least three providers, while another 40 percent could buy service from at least two providers, and 17 percent could buy service from at least one provider.

That means 97 percent of U.S. homes can buy service of 3 Mbps/768 kbps from at least one provider in each area. In addition, 28 percent of those households could buy such service from at least three providers; 48 percent could buy from at least two providers and 21 percent could buy from at least one provider.

About 80 percent of U.S. households can buy 6 Mbps/1.5 Mbps service from one to three providers, and also 80 percent could buy service from at least one provider.

Some 79 percent of U.S. households could buy 10 Mbps/1.5 Mbps service from at least one provider.

You can argue more speed is needed, or that prices are too high: people do that. But that’s a significant number of facilities-based competition for nearly 80 percent of U.S. households.

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