In mid-2012 the US still trails its OECD counterparts in terms of broadband penetration, speed and affordability. Nevertheless, the market is currently witnessing significant investment activity in FttH deployments, DOCSIS 3.0 upgrades, and mobile broadband network rollout. [ Business Research ]Yet despite the growing developments in FttH, WiMAX and 3G networks, broadband service in most regions is still generally limited to one DSL and one cable operator. Municipal wireless activity, often geared at breaking this stranglehold and introducing competition and innovation, continues to be stymied by lobbying pressure from the main telcos, which has led to almost half of the states banning or restricting municipal-led infrastructure projects.
A number of important policy statements have been made by the government and FCC indicating that policy-makers and regulators alike, concerned about the comparatively slow pace of US broadband developments, recognise the need for substantial structural change and regulatory reform. [ Business Report
] In addition, there is growing recognition of the importance of a trans-sectoral approach to broadband networks including, for instance, the health, education and energy sectors, in order to fully realise the benefits of the nascent digital economy.