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Articles

FCC Releases Report on Broadband Availability and Adoption in the United States

February 17, 2010

Articles

FCC Releases Report on Broadband Availability and Adoption in the United States

February 17, 2010

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The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has just released a report detailing the availability and adoption of broadband internet access at the census tract level. This represents an improvement in granularity in comparison to prior reports, which were based on ZIP codes. Included with the report are maps that depict the FCC’s estimates of the number of fixed broadband providers offering service in each census tract, the number of wireless broadband providers offering service in each tract and the percent of households in each tract that subscribe to a broadband service. The maps also differentiate between coverage based on the FCC’s standard definition of “broadband” (i.e., at least 200 kbps in at least one direction) and the definition of broadband service that is being used in the award of grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (i.e., at least 768 kbps downstream and 200 kbps upstream). The report is based on information provided by broadband service providers as of December 31, 2008.

Not surprisingly, the report suggests a direct correlation between broadband adoption rates and population density, average household income and the percent of college graduates in an area. This data should be useful as the FCC completes its work on the National Broadband Plan, which it plans to deliver to U.S. Congress on March 17, 2010. The report and maps are available at http://www.fcc.gov/wcb/iatd/comp.html.

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