A new US Telecom report reveals that between 33.4 and 37.7 million people in the United States do not have access to broadband at the FCC’s 25/3 Mbps speed definition, and more than 40 percent of rural households lack 25/3 Mbps broadband access. What’s more, the study shows that 174.6 million people – about half the country – lack competitive choice from at least two broadband providers.
US Telecom, the industry association of broadband providers like AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, and Frontier, released a report on broadband availability in mid-2016. The study was intended to demonstrate that broadband is being at deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion, that the marketplace is competitive, and that market forces are working. Instead, it revealed the significant population that falls into the digital divide.
The FCC recently released a Notice of Inquiry soliciting comments on how it should evaluate advanced telecommunications deployment across the US. CWA filed comments in the proceeding, citing US Telecom’s report showing millions of Americans still lack broadband access. CWA urged the Commission to find that broadband is not being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion – and recommends actions policymakers can take to accelerate broadband deployment and close the digital divide.
Read CWA’s comments here.
US Telecom’s Deep Dive on FCC Broadband Data: 90% Can Get 25 Mbps, 10% Can Get a Gigabit (Telecompetitor, Aug. 28, 2017)
US Broadband Availability Mid 2016 (US Telecom, Aug. 25, 2017)
CWA comments on 706 Notice of Inquiry (FCC, Sept. 5, 2017)