Summary and link to recently published report from the Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA), U.S. Commerce Department.
From News Release:
A new report released today by the U.S. Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) examines, for the first time, competition at the full range of speeds of Internet service in the U.S. The ESA report titled, “Competition Among U.S. Broadband Service Providers,” finds that far more competition exists at slower speeds than at higher speeds.
“This report gives policymakers a deeper understanding of what is occurring in the ISP marketplace,” says U.S. Commerce Department Chief Economist Sue Helper. “We know that competition typically drives down prices. And we also know that increasingly, higher Internet speeds are required for optimal functionality of popular, high-bandwidth computing applications. As more and more commerce and information move online, we risk further widening the digital divide if access to affordable, higher speed Internet doesn’t keep pace.”
Specifically, at download speeds of 3 megabits per second (Mbps), 98 percent of the U.S. population had a choice of at least two mobile ISPs, and 88 percent had two or more fixed ISPs available to them.
The report also found that four out of ten Americans did not live where very-high-speed broadband service – 100 Mbps or greater – is available. Of those with access to fixed broadband service at this speed, only 8 percent of the population had access to two or more providers, and 1 percent had access to three or more. Only 3 percent of the population had 1 Gbps or greater available, and none had two or more ISPs at that speed. Mobile service is virtually non-existent at download speeds of 25 Mbps or greater.
Overview Blog Post (via ESA Blog)
Direct to Full Text Report (16 pages; PDF)