NTCA Survey Shows Rural Telcos Continue Comprehensive Deployment of Broadband

September 19, 2005, Arlington, Va. - A survey revealed today by the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA) found that NTCA member companies remain leaders in bringing broadband services to consumers throughout rural America. Now in its seventh year, the annual survey is conducted to gauge the deployment rates of advanced services by NTCA members.

This year’s survey found that an overwhelming majority - 92% - of respondents offer broadband to some portion of their customer base.  Of those that offer broadband, 99% utilize DSL to provide the service.  74% of respondents reported that their customers can receive 200-500 kilobits per second (kbps) service, and 72% reported they offer 1 megabit per second (Mbps) service - an increase from the 57% who offered such speed in 2004.  The survey also showed a continued steady increase in take rates for these services - 5% of respondents’ customers subscribe to their 1 Mbps service offering and 4% to 3 Mbps service, up from 2% each last year.
Pointing to a continued trend of increased competition in the provision of advanced services, fully 85 % of respondents said they face competition from at least one other provider, up from 76% in the 2004 survey.  Competitors include national Internet service providers, satellite broadband providers, cable companies and electric utilities.  Another trend of note surrounds increased marketing efforts to address such competition:
84% of NTCA members have altered their marketing approach to include price promotions and bundled service offerings to better compete with other providers, up from  63% of 2004 respondents. 

57% of survey respondents noted they face competitors who offer voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) service, while just four percent offer the service themselves.  A majority - 71% - said they plan to offer VoIP in the foreseeable future.  On the video front, 42% of respondents offer the service to their customers, while 26% of those not currently offering video plan to do so by December of this year.  An additional 37% of respondents noted they plan to offer video by year-end 2007.

NTCA sent the 2005 survey to each of its 560 member companies; 161 companies (29%) responded.

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Contact Caitlin Colligan at 703-351-2086 NTCA is the premier association representing nearly 560 locally owned and controlled telecommunications cooperatives and commercial companies throughout rural and small-town America.  NTCA provides its members with legislative, regulatory and industry representation; meetings; publications and educational programs; and an array of employee benefit programs.  Visit us at www.ntca.org.