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Less than half of 'Net connections meet FCC speed goal

A Federal Communications Commission report released on Thursday examining Internet access subscriptions found less than half of U.S. subscribers currently get broadband service that meets or exceeds speed targets set by the commission in its national broadband plan.

The plan released in March set the "universal availability target" at 4 megabits per second downstream and 1 megabits per second upstream. But the Internet subscription report found only 44 percent of the 71 million fixed Internet connections to households met the target as of June 2009.

The report found the number of mobile wireless subscribers with Internet access plans increased by 40 percent during the first six months of 2009 to 35 million.

While mobile Internet access appears to be soaring, fixed broadband subscriptions grew at a much slower rate of 3 percent, to 41 million, for cable broadband and 1 percent for DSL, to 31 million, according to the report. Satellite Internet connections grew at a faster rate of 6 percent but still only number 1 million subscribers.

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