The Consumer Matters is the blog of Leslie Grandy, aka Gearhead Gal.  My passion is creating and delivering compelling products that delight customers through simple and elegant user experience design.

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The State of US Internet Access: Mobile Connections Exploding

Twice a year, in June and December, the FCC publishes a report about the state of Internet access in the US. The report, which summarizes data collected by FCC Form 477 about connections in the United States (over 200 kilobits per second in at least one direction), creates a visual picture of the speed and access rates across the country in a series of detailed graphs, charts and maps. And while it does not provide a great deal of analysis (ok, none really, at all), it does offer a strong view of the trends in digital consumption. The introduction summarizes a few key takeaways:

Notable developments between June 2012 and June 2013 include:

Internet connections overall are growing. The number of connections over 200 kbps in at least one direction increased by 13% year-over-year to 276 million.

In June 2013, there were 70 million fixed and 93 million mobile connections with download speeds at or above 3 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds at or above 768 kbps as compared to 57 million fixed and 43 million mobile connections a year earlier. 

The report details a number of interesting data points around mobile, notably that fact that many consumers are able to experience reasonable broadband speeds from their mobile devices, leading to a whopping 62.5% of residential connections via mobile wireless.

U.S. Federal Communications Commission Internet Access Services: Status as of June 30, 2013As a product designer,  I see this as a huge proof point for the importance of a mobile-first design strategy for any digital brand.  

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