Broadband usage continues to climb

* Also: Verizon ups business DSL speed in 16 states; Covad, Nextlink partner

Broadband usage is expected to nearly double by 2010, according to a new report by IDC. The consulting firm says that at the end of 2005 there were 205 broadband users around the world. That number is expected to jump to 400 million by 2010, colleague Denise Pappalardo reports. Broadband usage hit a significant milestone in 2005 as the number of users with high-speed Internet access connections surpassed the number of dial-up users, according to IDC.


Verizon Online is preparing for that growth by expanding its two highest-capacity business DSL packages to 16 more states, increasing to 28 the number of states where it offers 7.1Mbps service, as well as the District of Columbia. Small and midsized businesses in California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin can now access Verizon's maximum DSL connection speed of up to 7.1Mbps downstream. The service offers upstream speeds of 768Kbps with a dynamic IP address for $99.95 per month, or $199.95 per month for a static IP address. The 7.1Mbps service is almost 10 times faster than Verizon's entry level speed of 768Kbps.


Broadband growth might also be stimulated by a partnership between Nextlink and Covad. Under the arrangement, Covad will deploy higher speed wireless Ethernet services nationally using Nextlink’s licensed spectrum. Covad’s new offering will include access speeds up to 25Mbps per subscriber location for real-time applications such as enterprise VoIP. Nextlink's Local Multipoint Distribution System (LMDS) spectrum resides in the 28-31 GHz range. Covad will initially offer the service within its existing network in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The agreement also allows for an expansion to 11 additional markets across the country, including Chicago, Dallas, Miami, New York, Seattle, and Washington, DC.

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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