U.S. Consumer Internet Access Improves at Moore's Law Rates

In any market, what really matters are the services that customers actually buy. That is as true for internet access as for automobiles. Some 60 percent or more of U.S. fixed internet access customers buy from cable companies. That matters.

In 2015, for example, the slowest peak connection speeds were in the 34 Mbps to 45 Mbps range; the fastest in the 65 Mbps to 86 Mbps range. That matters since, even where telco services were available, most people did not buy them. AT&T and Verizon did better than other telcos, though, holding their market share. The other telcos mostly are losing share to cable competitors.

Also, most of the customers live in areas where speeds are fastest (west coast and Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions).

By 2016, cable operators were offering speeds in excess of 100 Mbps, while Verizon was offering 88 Mbps speeds.

The key point is that the high end of internet access speeds sold to U.S. consumers has doubled about every year, increasing by an order of magnitude about every five years.

At least for U.S. cable companies, Moore's Law applies to internet access speeds: speeds double about every 18 months.

The point is that, despite nearly-constant criticism, U.S. internet access speeds have improved at Moore’s Law speeds, and U.S. policy on internet access mostly has provided incentives for internet service providers to invest in such growth.


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