Published: June 2020
The Broadband Gap
Access to the internet can be life-changing. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a U.S. government agency that has the top priority of “closing the digital divide, in recognition that high-speed broadband and the digital opportunity it brings can be essential to innovation, economic opportunity, healthcare, and civic engagement in today’s modern society.”
In a 2020 report, the agency reported the percentage of the U.S. population who do not have access to broadband internet speed of at least 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload as 6.5 percent - that’s 21.3 million Americans.
However, the FCC’s reporting counts an entire census block as covered by a provider if service is offered to at least one household in that block, which could potentially lead to over-reporting - an issue that can negatively impact rural and underserved communities the most when addressing the digital divide.