FCC Releases 2019 Broadband Deployment Report

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The FCC has released its 2019 Broadband Deployment Report, intended to update Congress on the progress the country has made in narrowing the digital divide. Just as with the 2018 Broadband Deployment Report, the 2019 report was adopted along party lines. Commissioners Rosenworcel and Starks declined to sign their names to the report while Commissioners Carr and O’Rielly joined Chairman Pai in touting the great strides the U.S. has made in deploying modern broadband services to those Americans who previously were unable to access the services. According to this year’s report: (1) the number of Americans lacking access to a terrestrial fixed broadband connection of 25/3 Mbps has dropped from 26.1 million in 2016 to 21.3 million in 2017, an 18% decrease; (2) from 2016 to 2017, the number of Americans accessing 250/25 Mbps services grew by 36%, to 191.5 million; (3) broadband providers in the U.S. deployed fiber networks to 5.9 million new homes in 2018, the largest number ever recorded; and (4) capital expenditures by broadband providers increased in 2017, reversing the declines witnessed in both 2016 and 2015.

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