34 million Americans lack access to broadband service, FCC says

And you thought your Internet was slow.

According to the most recent Broadband Progress Report released by the FCC, 10 percent of Americans (34 million) continue to lack access to advanced, high-quality voice, data, graphics and video offerings.

The report is conducted to ensure compliance with Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which requires the FCC to report annually on whether advanced telecommunications capability “is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion,” and to take “immediate action” if it is not.

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Nearly 20 years later, findings released on Jan. 29 include the news that communities most lacking in these services are in rural areas and tribal lands.

Similarly, the study found that about 41 percent of schools, representing 47 percent of the nation’s students, lack the connectivity to meet the Commission’s short-term goal of 100 Mbps per 1,000 students/staff.

In contrast, only 4 percent of Americans living in urban areas lack access to these services.

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In response to the findings, the FCC wrote on its website, “Significant progress in broadband deployment has been made, due in part to the Commission’s action to support broadband such as through its Universal Service programs. However, the Commission finds that these advances are not enough to ensure that advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed to all Americans in a timely way.”