New Survey: 67% of Rural Customers Have Access to 25+ Mbps Connections

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NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, has released the results of a survey concerning broadband availability in rural America. The just-released study found that 67% of respondents’ customers can receive a maximum downstream speed of at least 25 Mbps and an additional twenty percent can access download speeds in excess of 10 Mbps. By comparison, in last year’s survey of NTCA members, only 17% of respondents’ customers subscribed to broadband services offering at least 25 Mbps. Additionally, the 2017 survey found that 89% of respondents cites the cost to deploy fiber infrastructure as the number one barrier to its widespread availability. Approximately half of the companies participating in the survey said that the majority of their customers use Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH), but a not insignificant 82% indicated they had a long-term fiber deployment strategy in their future. Of those respondents with fiber-deployment plans, two out of three companies plan to offer FTTH while the bulk of the remainder plan to offer Fiber-to-the-Node or something similar. Finally, as of the time the survey was taken, 31% of the companies responding claimed that they were done with their fiber deployments to all customers. While only 29% of NTCA members responded to the annual survey, the news of expanding fiber deployments in rural America and their utilization by local citizens is an encouraging sign and a reminder that more needs to be done to have rural broadband accessibility match what is available in urban and suburban American communities.

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