Data & Mapping
SatelliteInternet.com published a report based on more than 1 million internet speed tests in rural cities: communities with populations of less than 10,000 people that are at least an hour away from the nearest major city. Over the last ten months, the national average for all rural speed tests increased from 39.01Mbps to 45.9Mbps, which is encouraging.
We already know that the Federal Communication Commission’s current broadband maps are flawed – they overstate broadband availability, they don’t contain pricing information, and they rely too heavily on industry-provided data. The FCC is now seeking additional funding from Congress to improve its mapping efforts.
If you live in an area where AT&T has taken government funds in exchange for deploying broadband, there's a chance you won't be able to get the service—even if AT&T initially tells you it's available. AT&T's Mississippi division has received over $283 million from the Federal Communications Commission's Connect America Fund since 2015 and in exchange is required to extend home-Internet service to over 133,000 potential customer locations.
You can't fix a problem you don’t understand, and it’s very clear that the Federal Communications Commission under Donald Trump doesn’t want to understand its failure to make affordable broadband available to all Americans. During a pandemic when Americans are forced to work, learn, and get their health care online, the FCC’s refusal to accurately measure US broadband connectivity gaps has quickly shifted from administrative farce to outright tragedy. The FCC’s 2020 Broadband Deployment Report, released last June, claims the number of Americans without access to broadband sits somewhere aro
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) has released its Worst Connected Cities of 2019, a list of the cities in the US facing the biggest struggles with Internet connections by drawing from the 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) One-Year Estimates. This data is not an indication of the availability of home broadband service, but rather of the extent to which households are actually connected to it.
We've noted repeatedly that despite a lot of breathless pearl clutching from US leaders and regulators about the "digital divide," the US doesn't actually know where broadband is (or isn't) available. Despite repeated complaints (often by FCC Commissioners themselves), the FCC just keeps doubling down on shoddy data to justify its complete and total fealty to telecom giants. The agency's latest notice of inquiry (part of its Congressional duty to report on the state of broadband once a year) even acknowledges the agency's data is bad...
Ever since Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) was first elected to the House in 2006, he has sought to ensure that Iowans and other rural Americans can access the internet. But Rep Loebsack, who is set to retire at the end of the 116th Congress, remains frustrated that the federal government still lacks accurate data showing where Americans can get a signal — and where they can’t. How to best go about correcting federal broadband maps is disputed.
On the Wrong Side of the Digital Divide: Life Without Internet Access And Why We Must Fix It In the Age of COVID-19
Prior to the advent of the COVID-19 crisis, Greenlining asked residents of two California communities, Fresno and Oakland, to share their struggles with internet access and found these common themes, all of which have been made more urgent by the pandemic: 1) Internet access is not a luxury, 2) Lack of access creates significant hurdles for everyday life, 3) Smartphone access is insufficient, 4) Internet plans designed for low-income families are inadequate, 5) Lack of access is a barrier to academic success.
Total Internet connections increased by about 4.9% between December 2017 and December 2018 to 441 million. Mobile Internet connections increased 5.7% year-over-year to 331 million in December 2018, while fixed connections grew to 111 million – up about 2.5% from December 2017. Over 54% of connections were at 100 Mbps or more (downstream). Nearly 75% of connections were 25 Mbps or more. The median downstream speed of all reported fixed connections was 100 Mbps.
Total Internet connections increased by about 4.9% between June 2017 and June 2018 to 429 million. Mobile Internet connections increased 5.7% year-over-year to 320 million in June 2018, while fixed connections grew to 109 million – up about 2.8% from June 2017. Nearly 48% of connections were at 100 Mbps or more (downstream). Over 73% of connections were 25 Mbps or more. The percentage of fixed connections with a downstream speed of at least 25 Mbps has grown from 50% (or 50 million connections) in June 2015 to 74% (or 80 million connections) in June 2018.