Wednesday, February 07, 2007

More than 20 percent of local phone company customers can't get DSL

Local telephone companies didn’t offer DSL in more than 20 percent of their service areas last year, according to recently released data compiled by the Federal Communications Commission. The data are contained in Table 14 of the report, High Speed Services for Internet Access as of June 30, 2006.

States with the highest DSL penetration among incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) include Florida (88 percent), California (86 percent) and surprisingly, Louisiana with 87 percent. Even less densely populated states such as Nevada and North Dakota exceeded the national average of 79 percent, with 85 percent and 86 percent respectively.

The states with the lowest DSL availability offered by ILECs were New Hampshire with 59 percent; Vermont with 60 percent; Virginia, Arkansas and Michigan with 66 percent; and Maine, 67 percent.

The ILEC measurement provides a more accurate picture of broadband availability than cable modem since telephone service, unlike cable, is available to nearly all U.S. households and businesses. The FCC data also show satellite Internet connections, offered as a last resort option in areas where neither phone nor cable companies provide broadband, remain unpopular with just 495,365 subscribers nationwide.

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