NTCA Survey Reveals Upturn in Broadband Take Rates, Fiber Deployment

ILECs make broadband widely available in rural U.S. despite steady rise in competition


October 28, 2008, Arlington, Va. - Independent communications providers serving rural and high-cost areas have witnessed a dramatic rise in take rates for their broadband offerings, despite increasing competition from a myriad of players, according to survey results from the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA).

A full 100% of respondents to NTCA's annual Broadband/Internet Availability Survey offer broadband to some part of their customer base, compared to just 58% of respondents in the 2000 survey.  Nearly all (93%) respondents indicated they face competition in the provision of advanced services from a diverse group including ISPs, WISPs, cable companies, electric utilities and local ISPs.

Ninety-nine percent of respondents indicated they use DSL to provide Internet access, though fiber deployment is seeing some gains, with 44% employing fiber to the home (FTTH) or fiber to the curb-up from 32% last year.  Additionally, 71% of respondents with a fiber deployment strategy plan to offer fiber to the node to more than three-quarters of their customers by the end of 2009, with 74% planning to offer FTTH to 25% of their customers over that same time frame.  The majority of respondents (86%) identified the costs of fiber deployment as the most serious challenge to their efforts. Contact Caitlin Colligan at 703-351-2086

An increasing number of providers are offering a video play, with 68% of respondents indicating a current video offering, up from 63% in 2007.  This year's survey also saw a slight decrease in voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) offerings, down one percent from 2007, though nearly half the respondents (44%) said they do have plans to offer VoIP in the foreseeable future.

NTCA sent the 2008 survey to each of its 560 member companies.  146 companies (30%) responded. 

View survey report

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NTCA is the premier association representing more than 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 http://www.ntca.org.