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FCC claims rural broadband access is improving

Published by F3News on February 20, 2019

The FCC has been working to speed up the rollout of broadband infrastructure through initiatives such as the Connect America Fund. Meanwhile, the federal government last week announced a multi-agency strategy to bring broadband to the millions of Americans who don't currently have access to it, particularly in rural areas.

"For the past two years, closing the digital divide has been the FCC's top priority," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement. He claimed the report showed the agency's strategies have been working, but "we won't rest until all Americans can have access to broadband and the 21st century opportunities it provides to communities everywhere."

The draft report says the number of Americans who don't have access to fixed broadband (at the agency's benchmark speed of 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload) dropped from 26.1 million to 19.4 million between the end of 2016 and the end of 2017. More than 5.6 million of those who gained broadband access live in rural areas, according to the report.

By the end of 2017, the number of people with access to even faster broadband (100 Mbps/10Mpbs) rose by 244.3 million to 290.9 million in the space of a year. Meanwhile, 205.2 million Americans had access to broadband speeds of 250 Mbps/50 Mbps at the end of 2017, a rise of over 45 percent from 12 months earlier.

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