Consumer thirst for broadband services and the drive towards convergence have fueled the strongest growth of the U.S. telecom market since 2000, according to the latest annual study issued by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). TIA’s yearly Telecommunications Market Review and Forecast for 2007 assesses the health of the telecom market in the U.S. and in foreign countries as it outlines trends that affect the information and communications industries worldwide. According to the report, U.S. telecom revenues rose by 9.3% to $923 billion in 2006—the largest yearly increase since 2000. Global telecom revenues for 2006, meanwhile, increased by 11.2% to $3 trillion. Demand for broadband services is driving growth, which, in turn, is inducing operators of legacy phone networks to invest in fiber-based infrastructure. Noting that “telephone companies are spending on network equipment again” to keep up with demand, TIA observed that the U.S. market for network and enterprise equipment experienced a double-digit increase in revenues for the third straight year in 2006. Landline carriers are also investing in network upgrades that will enable them to offer quadruple play packages of voice, wireless, broadband and IP-based video services to their customers. TIA’s study notes that more than 12 million miles of fiber lines were deployed during 2006, representing an increase of 9.1% over 2005. Voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) services, which currently account for 10% of the landline market, are expected to “more than triple” during the next four years to 34% of the landline telephony sector. Similar trends are also seen in the U.S. wireless market in which carriers are laying the groundwork for data and multimedia services that will be bundled with mobile voice applications. Noting that surges in the U.S. market during the late 1990s were driven largely by the passage of the 1996 Telecom Act, TIA predicts that the upcoming growth in the telecom sector will be more “sustainable,” as it will be attributable to demand.