Fact Sheet on FCC's Draft 2018 Broadband Deployment Report
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has circulated a draft 2018 Broadband Deployment Report to his colleagues and below are the key findings and additional information:
- The 25/3 speed benchmark is maintained. The draft report finds that the current speed benchmark of 25 Mbps/3 Mbps remains an appropriate measure by which to assess whether a fixed service provides advanced telecommunications capability.
- Mobile services are not full substitutes for fixed services—there are salient differences between the two technologies. Both fixed and mobile services can enable access to information, entertainment, and employment options, but there are salient differences between the two. Beyond the most obvious distinction that mobile services permit user mobility, there are clear variations in consumer preferences and demands for fixed and mobile services.
- Because fixed services and mobile services are not full substitutes, it is important to evaluate progress in deploying fixed broadband service as well as progress in deploying mobile broadband service.
- Analyzing broadband deployment progress is most consistent with the language of section 706.
- Since the last report, the FCC has taken many steps to encourage broadband deployment.
- Due to these efforts, the draft report concludes that the FCC is now meeting its statutory mandate to encourage the deployment of broadband on a reasonable and timely basis.
- Broadband deployment remains the FCC’s top priority.
Following circulation of the draft report, Chairman Pai said, "The draft report indicates that the pace of both fixed and mobile broadband deployment declined dramatically in the two years following the prior Commission’s Title II Order. However, the draft report also discussed how, over the course of the past year, the current Commission has taken steps to reduce barriers to infrastructure investment and promote competition in the broadband marketplace. Taken together, these policies indicate that the current FCC is now meeting its statutory mandate to encourage the deployment of broadband on a reasonable and timely basis. But while we are now headed in the right direction, our work has just begun. Far too many Americans still lack access to high-speed Internet, and that’s why the FCC’s top priority under my leadership remains bridging the digital divide and bringing digital opportunity to all Americans.”
FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said, "By the FCC’s own admission, over 24 million Americans are still without high-speed broadband access where they live. For years telecom companies and government officials have promised Americans that 'soon' they will have affordable, high-speed broadband. Yet millions continue to wait, hoping that this vital connection will bring economic development and prosperity to their community.... So how can this agency now claim that broadband is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion? Only by repeating the majority’s tired and debunked claims that broadband investment and innovation screeched to a halt in 2015. While my initial review of Chairman Pai’s draft report raises serious concerns, I acknowledge that it addresses one of my concerns by now correctly concluding that mobile and fixed connectivity are not substitutes. I look forward to carefully reviewing the findings presented in the draft report."
Fact Sheet on Draft 2018 Broadband Deployment Report Statement of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai On Circulation of His Draft Broadband Deployment Report Statement of Commissioner Mignon Clyburn on Draft 2018 Broadband Deployment Report