Broadband availability

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Managing editor's note: This article is part of the 2007 project to build an open library of research and data to inform Sen. Dick Durbin's national broadband policy project. Please help out by expanding these articles - a good place to start is to look through the links listed under "external resources" in the article's sections and/or at the end of the article.

Americans have been adopting broadband, or high-speed Internet access, but one important question is whether they have been doing it fast enough. Broadband is an increasingly important part of the economy and daily life, but is unavailable or unaffordable to many Americans. Still, the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s annual and semi-annual surveys about broadband adoption show a consistent pattern of increase. In 2005, 30 percent of Americans subscribed to broadband in their homes, and those numbers had risen to 42 percent in 2006 and 47 percent in 2007. The exact degree of broadband penetration in the U.S. is unclear due to a lack of publicly available data, as is how much complete broadband penetration would cost if done by the public or private sectors.