For Immediate Release

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Liz Rose, Communications Director, 202-265-1490 x 32 or 202-355-3559

New U.S. Data Shows More Competition and Openness Is Needed to Bring All Americans Online

WASHINGTON - New Commerce Department figures released today highlight the
challenges in bringing affordable broadband connections to all
Americans. The National Telecommunications and Information Agency
(NTIA) reports that 40 percent of Americans still don't have high-speed
Internet at home.

S. Derek Turner, research director of Free Press, made the following statement:

"The new Commerce Department data underscores why we need the
National Broadband Plan to be grounded in policies that promote
meaningful competition and openness on the Internet. The report shows
that though we've made some strides in closing the rural-urban digital
divide, we’ve made little progress in connecting more racial and ethnic
minorities or lower-income Americans.


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"The data indicate that many people simply think broadband is too
expensive or they don't see any value in the service. Overcoming these
barriers will be challenging, but it is clear that promoting more
effective competition and ensuring access to diverse online content
will be essential to reaching the goal of universal broadband adoption.

"The FCC should focus its policies on promoting robust competition
that lowers prices and promotes innovation. It must also act to
preserve the Internet as an open communications platform, which will in
turn facilitate the availability of diverse content that will help
raise the value of the Internet for those who haven’t adopted the
expensive and slow services that unfortunately characterize the U.S.
broadband market."


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