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14 Million Americans don't have access to broadband says FCC

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 21 Jul 2010 19:03 User comments (8)

14 Million Americans don't have access to broadband says FCC In their most recent report on the status of broadband internet in the US, the FCC has finally admitted "broadband is not being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion."
Although this is the sixth Broadband Deployment Report to be issued by the agency since 1999, it is the first to reach this conclusion. Previous reports have been widely criticized for both the benchmark by which broadband was defined and the methodology for determining service areas.

For example, in the last report, from 2008, 200kbps downstream (download) speed was still considered broadband. Additionally, a single address capable of broadband service was equated to the entire zip code being served.

In the current report notes, "Our examination of overall Internet traffic patterns reveals that consumers increasingly are using their broadband connections to view high-quality video, and want to be able to do
so while still using basic functions such as email and web browsing."


In order to more accurately reflect that reality the standard for broadband has been raised to 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream. Service areas were based on numbers from the National Broadband Plan, published earlier this year.

Using the new metrics resulted in a determination that 14 million Americans live in areas where broadband internet service isn't offered.

More information on these changes can be found in Chapter 3 of that plan.

National Broadband Plan Chapter 3 Current State of the Broadband Ecosystem

These reports, as well as the FCC's initiative for measuring the service actually being delivered to consumers, are important steps toward a rational strategy for future investment in broadband technology. But one thing conspicuously missing from all this is addressing the lack of competition.

With most markets having no more than two broadband providers, and sometimes only one, the price of high speed internet will remain nearly as big a barrier for many consumers as availability.

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8 user comments

121.7.2010 22:53

"In order to more accurately reflect that reality the standard for broadband has been raised to 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream. Service areas were based on numbers from the National Broadband Plan, published earlier this year."

LOL...4/1mbps is not broadband; there are cell phones with faster speeds!

"With most markets having no more than two broadband providers, and sometimes only one, the price of high speed internet will remain nearly as big a barrier for many consumers as availability."

Actually, that is the reason availability is so low...with no competition, a company can just keep charging $60 a month for the same old 200k connection...no need to upgrade the equipment or to have price wars when you are the only choice. When you operate like that, it isn't worth the money to upgrade, as most consumers are already paying as much as they would be willing to pay.

222.7.2010 2:33

I'm paying $60 per month for naked ADSL 2 and 130GBs of downloads.Im lucky to get speeds over 5mbps.I'm in australia and im sure theres more than 14 percent of areas that can't even access broadband.We still have areas where you can't get a signal on a cell phone.Americans are lucky to have good technology.


custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

322.7.2010 6:12

Originally posted by xboxdvl2:
I'm paying $60 per month for naked ADSL 2 and 130GBs of downloads.Im lucky to get speeds over 5mbps.I'm in australia and im sure theres more than 14 percent of areas that can't even access broadband.We still have areas where you can't get a signal on a cell phone.Americans are lucky to have good technology.
The USA is hardly #1, though...we seem to be fine with being behind some European countries (in many other aspects, as well).

422.7.2010 8:34

Originally posted by xnonsuchx:
Originally posted by xboxdvl2:
I'm paying $60 per month for naked ADSL 2 and 130GBs of downloads.Im lucky to get speeds over 5mbps.I'm in australia and im sure theres more than 14 percent of areas that can't even access broadband.We still have areas where you can't get a signal on a cell phone.Americans are lucky to have good technology.
The USA is hardly #1, though...we seem to be fine with being behind some European countries (in many other aspects, as well).

its not a competition.and if it was a competition you can't always win.never hear any mention of how fast internet speeds are in japan for some strange reason i'd imagine they'd have very good internet speeds.

custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

522.7.2010 10:36

I don't understand some folks attitude here. Sounds like many folks' minds were made up before they read, or even wrote, the article.

There are estimated 308 million people in the US, meaning 294 million (or a whopping 95.5% of all Americans) have access to broadband.

Not a bad number at all for a country where there's no right to broadband (which is a joke to think that an item like broadband access should be a government mandate to begin with.)

622.7.2010 13:47

Originally posted by pirkster:
I don't understand some folks attitude here. Sounds like many folks' minds were made up before they read, or even wrote, the article.

There are estimated 308 million people in the US, meaning 294 million (or a whopping 95.5% of all Americans) have access to broadband.

Not a bad number at all for a country where there's no right to broadband (which is a joke to think that an item like broadband access should be a government mandate to begin with.)
Agreed. KillerBug's comment was completely snobbish, (or maybe he's just trolling?). 4Mbps connections are excellent, and more than adequate for just about anything. You can even stream Netflix reasonably well with that. I agree with xboxdvl2 when he says, "Americans are lucky to have good technology." We need to be greatful for what we have, especially in these times. Did they ever stop to think that 95.5% of Americans are the only ones that WANT internet? Hey, not everybody does! Sometimes half of me wants to join that 0.5% that swears of this electronic crap all together.
That's not to say there isn't room for improvement. At least the article already identifies the main problem as being lack of competition, which is btw what America is supposed to be all about in case some of you have forgotten. The Free Enterprise system in all areas has been responsible for the introduction of new ideas, inventions and innovations to get an edge on the competition. The minute we forget that is the minute we begin our decline. Oh, and it IS a competition.

722.7.2010 21:23

Originally posted by xboxdvl2:
Originally posted by xnonsuchx:
Originally posted by xboxdvl2:
I'm paying $60 per month for naked ADSL 2 and 130GBs of downloads.Im lucky to get speeds over 5mbps.I'm in australia and im sure theres more than 14 percent of areas that can't even access broadband.We still have areas where you can't get a signal on a cell phone.Americans are lucky to have good technology.
The USA is hardly #1, though...we seem to be fine with being behind some European countries (in many other aspects, as well).

its not a competition.and if it was a competition you can't always win.never hear any mention of how fast internet speeds are in japan for some strange reason i'd imagine they'd have very good internet speeds.
the download speeds are not really different, however there uploads are almost on par with there downloads 15/9 15/10 something like that.

American Cable Company's don't keep there land lines in pristine condition either.

not to mention i can go outside drop a cord from the old GTE node setting outside my front door into my house and make phone calls all day. when your to lazy to tear out the old infrastructure and replace it with new something is very wrong yes Verizon i'm talking about you

816.8.2010 19:00

Well...I may have to eat my words...after 8 years of calling my phone company (and having them call me to offer to upgrade my DSL which is currently 512mb/s) to find out about what they can offer and being told they have nothing available, I found just 10 min ago that I might actually be able to upgrade to 3mb/s. They put the order in...we'll see if I don't get a call back telling me I'm too far away from my CO and that 512 is really the maximum they can give me. I'm also a little suspicious of their numbers because my mostly rural county shows 96-100% on their map (4.5mb/s is the qualifier on this map?).

People...it's not the cost that's holding me back here...it's availability. I used to pay $85/mo for my ISDN service which is more than I pay now for my phone and Internet service.

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