September 13, 2022

ACA Connects: Latest FCC Data Confirm That Fixed Broadband Competition is Widespread and Increasingly Intense

Data Support Findings in ACA Connects’ Recent White Paper, Which Predicted Competition Will Continue to Flourish Along Numerous Benchmarks

PITTSBURGH, September 13, 2022 – In a blog post published today, ACA Connects reported that the FCC’s recently updated figures on broadband deployment show that fixed broadband competition is extensive and continues to grow rapidly. These observations confirm the findings of ACA Connects’ June, 2022 White Paper (“Broadband Competition is Thriving Across America”), which documented the robust competition that exists in the fixed broadband marketplace and projected continual increases in competition in the coming years based on historic trends.

“The FCC’s latest data confirm what ACA Connects Members already know: The fixed broadband marketplace is already highly competitive in the vast majority of areas and only becoming more so,” said ACA Connects President and CEO Grant Spellmeyer. “This increased competition is a testament to the federal government’s light-touch regulatory approach, which enables fixed broadband providers to devote scarce capital to network upgrades and expansions rather than compliance with burdensome mandates. The result is enormous investment by the entire private sector in high-performance broadband infrastructure, more reliable and responsive service, and more choices for American households.”

As the blog post explains, FCC Form 477 data released in July — which are current as of June 30, 2021 — reveal that fixed broadband competition increased considerably in the first half of 2021 along a number of benchmarks. Most notably, the data show substantial increases — 8.6 percent or greater — in the shares of U.S. households with three broadband options at 25/3 Mbps; with two options at 100/20 Mbps and a third at 25/3 Mbps; and with two options at 25/3 Mbps and a third at 100/20 Mbps.

“Just as we predicted, fixed broadband competition steadily improved in the first half of 2021,” Spellmeyer said. “In fact, the progress was so substantial that we have adjusted upward the levels of competition we project in the near future. Moreover, knowing that ACA Connects Members and other fixed broadband providers have invested many tens of billions of dollars over the past year – and accounting for billions in government grants – it is clear that consumer choice will again increase significantly when we see the next round of data.”

The latest FCC data further demonstrate that it would be counterproductive for government regulators to apply common carrier regulations to broadband providers — such as those found in Title II of the Communications Act. Such regulations not only would produce no benefits but would drive away private capital, undermine service innovation, and in the end leave broadband consumers with fewer choices.

As noted in the blog post, ACA Connects now projects that 80.6 percent of households will enjoy at least two broadband options at 100/20 Mbps and a third option at 25/3 Mbps by 2025. That figure is up from 71 percent. ACA Connects has also increased its projections for other competitive benchmarks, including the share of households with three options at 100/20 Mbps — which has increased from 24.8 to 29.2 percent.

About ACA Connects: America’s Communications Association – Based in Pittsburgh, ACA Connects is a trade organization representing more than 500 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, video, and phone services covering 23 million customers, 6 million of which are located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA Connects Members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their businesses.