Three-quarters of respondents to NTCA’s most recent broadband survey cited regulatory uncertainty as an impediment to broadband deployment, second only to deployment cost overall. In spite of the uncertainty, 74 percent of respondents indicated they currently offer fiber to the home to some portion of their customer base, up from 64 percent in 2011. The pace of future deployment, however, may be in jeopardy.

The results of the survey of NTCA’s membership are collected in the NTCA 2012 Broadband/Internet Availability Report. Twenty-five percent of NTCA’s pre-OPASTCO unification members responded to the survey, which was conducted in late 2012.

Rural communications providers are finding it increasingly difficult to gain access to fairly priced “must-have” video content. Every single respondent to the survey cited difficulty obtaining video programming at a reasonable cost as an impediment to the provision of video services.

There were some promising findings. Seven out of 10 of respondents’ customers can receive broadband service of up to 6 Mbps; 51 percent, between 6 and 10 Mbps; and 40 percent in excess of 10 Mbps. The overall broadband take rate for survey respondents was reported to be 69 percent, up from 66 percent in 2011.

This piece originally was posted in the March 25 issue of NTCA New Edge and is reprinted with NTCA’s permission. Contact Rick Schadelbauer at RSchadelbauer@ntca.org.

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