Monday, July 27, 2009

U.S. residential DSL access shows no gain since 2006

U.S. residential DSL availability in the first half of 2008 continued to show no increase since it virtually hit the wall in 2006, with about a fifth of the nation still unable to access it.

That's pretty much the same story reported on this blog back in January based on Federal Communications Commission data covering the previous six-month period of July to December 2007. Readers can see for themselves by looking at the first column of Table 14 in the latest FCC report on Internet access released last week.

The same states continue to rank low on residential DSL access, including Vermont, Virginia, New Hampshire, Maine Michigan, Mississippi, Maryland and New York. The FCC withheld DSL availability for some states including Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Hawaii citing "firm confidentiality."

This redaction and other mechanisms to obfuscate where broadband infrastructure deployment exists and where it doesn't are increasingly cropping up at a time when government initiatives to increase broadband access demand greater transparency. It will be interesting to see how federal and state governments resolve this fundamental conflict.

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