Parks Associates today released their estimate that the U.S. may finally reach that 50% mark for broadband penetration by the end of the year. High Speed Internet connections grew by 20% last year hitting 47% of all U.S. households. While it is good news that broadband penetration is becoming a mainstay in the American home, we still lag behind Denmark, the Netherlands, Iceland, Korea, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Canada, the UK and Belgium in per-capita broadband deployment. The U.S. still lags greatly in the number of fiber connections with just over 500,000 while countries like Japan have 6 million or more. Although Verizon is driving FTTH deployment in big numbers, AT&T and U S West are not contributing much. Surprisingly enough independent telephone companies and municipalities are not waiting for the telcos or cable companies. Many of them are building their own open access broadband networks like Bend, Oregon. We still have a long way to go. Remember that fiber glut we had coming out of the bubble? Funny how we do not hear much about it any more. Could be because we are exhausting it in many places.