Draft FCC Report Shows Digital Divide Shrinking

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that Americans’ access to fixed broadband services continues to expand, with rural Americans benefiting the most from the Commission’s efforts.

“Our approach is working,” said FCC Chair Ajit Pai in a press release issued by the Commission in mid-February. “But we won’t rest until all Americans can have access to broadband and the 21st century opportunities it provides to communities everywhere.”

Pai’s statements accompanied the release of the draft 2019 Broadband Deployment Report to the other members of the Commission prior to its submission to Congress. According to the press release, the Report shows that nearly 7 million people gained access to fixed broadband services during 2017, reducing the number of people without broadband services to under 20 million. Those living in rural America constituted the largest portion of the increase in broadband access, representing about 5.6 million people.

The Report also reportedly shows across-the-board increases in access to higher speed broadband services. Americans with access to fixed broadband services offering speeds of 100 Mbps/10 Mbps or greater increased by almost 20 percent, to just over 290 million, while those with access to service offering speeds of 250 Mbps/50 Mbps or greater increased by over 45 percent, to just over 205 million.

Read the FCC’s press release on the draft 2019 Broadband Deployment Report.

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