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Report: U.S. Broadband Not Competitive Enough

In what it’s calling the first national study of broadband service providers’ market share, data-and-analytics firm ID Insight and industry analyst Craig Settles found Arkansas to have the most competitive environment nationwide.

The study, “The State of Broadband Competition in America – 2010,” based its rankings on market-share distribution analysis of states’ top-10 broadband providers. Using more than 2 million data points nationwide, ID Insight’s BroadBand Scout database determined market share within each state and the District of Columbia. Arkansas was ranked as the country’s most competitive state, followed by North Dakota and South Carolina. At the bottom were Hawaii and Rhode Island, ranked 50th and 51st, respectively.

Top 10 States, Ranked by Level of Competitiveness

  1. Arkansas
  2. North Dakota
  3. South Carolina
  4. Nebraska
  5. California
  6. Alabama
  7. Missouri
  8. Indiana
  9. Texas
  10. Kentucky

The complete report, including the methodology used, is available here. Settles and ID Insight president Adam Elliott say the data dispels the assumption by some that broadband competition in the United States is robust, and that consumers have many choices.

“Because competition continues to be a major point of contention within the broadband industry, we wanted to generate an accurate and, above all, unbiased picture of the competitive landscape,” says Elliott.

“The state of competition within the broadband industry continues to be a significant issue, and it’s absolutely critical to utilize objective data to shape the discussion as we move forward,” says Settles.

The authors drew several additional conclusions from their research, including:

  • There is a strong correlation between income and home value and the level of competiveness in a state. As income and home values show an increase from state to state, the level of competition – as measured by the report – decreases.
  • States with the largest percentage of Internet users and the highest available speed tend to be less competitive.
  • The bulk of broadband stimulus funding did not go to states with the least competitive environments.

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