For Immediate Release
Timothy Karr, 201-533-8838
FCC Report Finds Broadband Deployment Lacking
Free Press Praises FCC for Recognizing Problem, Hopes for Strong Action to Reverse Decline
WASHINGTON - Today, the Federal Communications Commission
released the findings of its sixth Section 706 report, determining that
broadband services are not being deployed to all Americans in a
reasonable and timely manner. The report, mandated by the 1996
Telecommunications Act, requires the FCC to assess the status of
broadband deployment. The Act defines broadband as the "capability that
enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data,
graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology."
The FCC reports that more than 14 million Americans live in
areas without access to any high-speed Internet service, a number that
may actually understate the scope of the problem. The findings
also reveal that less than 2 percent of U.S. broadband connections are
capable of originating a high-definition quality video stream, and that
less than half of all connections are capable of receiving such a
Free Press Research Director S. Derek Turner
issued the following statement:
"Today's report is the first time the FCC has determined
that broadband deployment is not reasonable and timely, and we are
extremely pleased that the Genachowski FCC had the courage to do what
all previous Commissions could not, and that is to put politics aside
and take an objective look at the law and the data.
"Millions of Americans lack access to broadband, and tens of
millions more have only the option to purchase slow connections that
fall well short of the congressional definition of 'broadband' - at
expensive prices. The facts present a sobering reality of our broadband
problem. We pay far too much for far too little, and the lack of
meaningful competition among Internet service providers leads to delayed
investment and slow technological progress.
"Now that the FCC has taken the first step of acknowledging
America's broadband problem, we hope that it will advance policies to
will reverse this decline though the promotion of real competition and
true consumer choice."
Link to April 21 testimony of S. Derek Turner regarding The
National Broadband Plan: Deploying Quality Broadband Services to the
Last Mile: http://www.freepress.net/
Link to Free Press Comments on the sixth 706 Notice of
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