Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Critics Call Out Rosy FCC Broadband Report

The FCC recently released its annual broadband deployment report, and said the numbers show the digital divide continues to close. Critics claim otherwise.

The FCC says the report revealed the number of Americans lacking access to fixed terrestrial broadband service at 25/3 Mbps continues to decline, by more than 14 percent in 2018. The number of Americans without access to 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband with a median speed of 10/3 Mbps, based on Ookla data, declined approximately 54 percent between 2017 and 2018. And the vast majority of Americans—more than 85 percent—now have access to fixed terrestrial broadband service at 250/25 Mbps, a 47 percent increase since 2017, concludes the report.
“From 2016 to 2018, the number of Americans without access to 25/3 Mbps fixed broadband service fell by more than 30 percent,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “And in 2018 and 2019, the United States set consecutive records for new fiber deployment, with the number of homes passed by fiber increasing by 5.9 million and 6.5 million, respectively.” 

The Commission cited the broadband industry’s approximately $80 billion investment in network infrastructure in 2018, for the improvement, noting it’s the highest annual amount in at least the last decade. In 2019, fiber broadband networks became available to roughly 6.5 million additional homes, the largest one-year increase ever, with smaller providers accounting for 25 percent of these new fiber connections, according to the agency. Continue Reading

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