Competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) and wireless service providers in the United States continue to steal market share away from the incumbent telephone companies, recent figures from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reveal.  The FCC’s semi-annual local telephone competition report, released July 8, indicates that competitive provider lines have increased from about 8.2 million in December 1999 to approximately 32.9 million in December 2004 (see table on page 1 for more details).  While the data reveals an overall erosion of incumbent market share of total telecommunications lines, its share of residential and small business lines has remained constant, despite a net decline in numbers of lines.  In December 1999, the ILECs had nearly 140 million end-user switched access lines. Five years later, that number had decreased to approximately 112 million. Despite this decline, the percentage of residential and small business lines remained constant at about 77%.  The CLEC scenario has changed significantly since 1999 when 41% of its end-user lines were residential and small business. That number has jumped nearly 20 points to slightly more than 60%. In actual numbers, competitive providers now control nearly 20 million residential and small business lines compared to 3.3 million at the end of 1999. This five-year period has also seen the competitive providers build out more last mile facilities with the number of end-user lines over CLEC-owned facilities increasing from 2.7 million at the end of 1999 to 8.5 million at the end of 2004. Despite this upward trend, the overall percentage of end users on CLEC-owned facilities has dropped over the last five years from about 33% to 26%.  This is the result of a greater reliance on the leasing of unbundled network facilities, or unbundled network elements (UNEs). The chart below illustrates the changes in end-user lines resold, UNEs and owned.  Competitive providers are making considerable inroads in several American states with Rhode Island seeing CLECs control 35% of end-user switched access lines. The rest of the top five consist of New York at 30%, Michigan at 26%, and Massachusetts and Arizona both at 25%. Other states worth mentioning are Utah and Kansas at 24% and New Hampshire and Nebraska at 23%.  Broadband continues expansion in the US High-speed Internet penetration continues to rise south of the border as well with the number of broadband subscribers nearly reaching 38 million by the end of 2004, increasing by more than 9.5 million subscribers from December 2003. Cable networks continue to hold the lion’s share of broadband lines with 21.4 million, compared to 13.8 million ADSL subscribers. Since 1999, broadband subscriber levels have jumped from approximately 2.7 million to 37.9 million. Fibre and broadband over powerline technologies reported having nearly 700,000 subscribers at the end of 2004. Satellite and terrestrial wireless technologies continue to pull up the rear with approximately 550,000 subscribers.