In-Stat: Average downstream connection is 3.8 Mbps

Market research firm In-Stat published a study covering the US residential broadband market entitled asking the question "How Fast is 'High Speed?'"

In-Stat surveyed over 700 homes with broadband connectivity in the US, and included homes with: cable modems, satellite broadband, DSL, fixed wireless, and fiber-to-the-home (FTTH). To determine the speeds, each home visited an online "speed test" site, taking bandwidth measurements.

Obviously FTTH homes reported the fastest downstream speeds at an average of 8.8 Mbps, then cable registered an average 4.9 Mbps and DSL connections sat at 2.1 Mbps. The resulting total average downstream speed was 3.8 Mbps, and upstream of 980 Kbps.

Verizon, the only US company with large-scale deployments of FTTH, claims it can provide downstream speeds up to 50 Mbps. Some smaller regional companies like Mstar also claim to have reached 50 Mbps. The Fiber-to-the-Home Council reported last week that even though the US has doubled its fiber optic penetration over the last year, it still is only in 2.3% of homes.

Cable is currently the most widely used connection in the US, but DSL falls not too far behind. Nielsen/NetRatings in March 2007 showed that though the number has been in continual decline for well over a decade, almost 20% of homes in the US still rely on narrowband connections.

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