19 million in US still can't get broadband Internet

A number of us might think that being able to access the Internet with high download speeds is an easy task. After all, both Verizon and Comcast have boosted their top download speeds up to 300 and 305 Mbps, respectively. More recently, Google announced that Kansas City residents will soon be able to purchase access to a 1 Gbps download and upload Internet service.

However, the Federal Communications Commission says there are still a lot of people in the US that are unable to get that kind of fast access. The government agency's eighth annual report claims that a whopping 19 million US citizen live in places where they cannot get Internet access speeds that are faster than 3 Mbps. About 14.5 million of that number live in rural areas, where it might be harder for phone and cable companies to build the necessary infrastructure needed for faster Internet access.

Even in those areas where faster Internet speeds are available, the report claims that only 40 percent of the people in those parts of the US actually sign up to use them. It's more than possible that the Internet providers have prices that are simply too high for those people to consider using the faster speeds.

The FCC states that in its opinion, "these gaps are unlikely to close" without some kind of effort to expand broadband access to more people. It adds, "Because millions still lack access to or have not adopted broadband, the Report concludes broadband is not yet being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion."

Source: FCC | Image via FCC

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Google Play gift cards now available to purchase

Next Story

Microsoft talks about new layout features in Word 2013

24 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

It's atrocious the US's infrastructure has been allowed to fall so behind, especially on the heels of a recession when the improvements could employ so many out of work Americans.

3M/s is arbitrary. This is a non-story, as others stated. I do IT work and the reality is 1.5M/s worked great for me for years, but 6M/s for the same rate as 1.5M/s made the choice painless.

Are 19 million people clamoring about not having broadband? No, they are not..

How much money was squandered on the report? Then equate the amount to how many households could have free internet for a year had the money been spent on free internet.

Stupid is as stupid does.

Who cares.

6% of the United States Population doesn't have access to 3mbps+ internet. 6% that means 94% does. Given our population density in areas I'd say that's pretty amazing. Comparing us to other countries, especially in europe is just childish. We have states larger than many of the EU's countries put together.

Do we really think the Government needs to use force to make a company run fiber, power, and towers to cover the tiny amount that isn't covered already?

You know, if people really gave two sh*ts about proper internet services in this country they'd lobby to get rid of corporation commissions limiting where providers can build out and offer services. I only have two providers in my area, Cox and Windstream. AT&T Offers U-stream a mile away, but I'm not allowed to be serviced by them.

That... only that... will provide competition and lower prices. Verizon, too, has been stonewalled from going into areas by Commissions.

The only true Monopoly is government. Allowing companies to exploit that Monopoly is dumb. Allowing the Monopoly to put a gun to the head of an ISP and force them to put a cell tower in the middle of the plains in Wyoming is just as dumb.

Hahaha come on 3Mbps around here is broadband at least for our standards in Uruguay. I think is good enough for email, FB, twitter, browsing, etc and you can pretty much download porn pretty fast too :-)

fenderMarky said,
Do they need it? Probably not, so they can still survive since humanity survived for thousands of years without it.

Broadband is a fundamental human right, or at least that's what some people believe.

Enron said,
Broadband is a fundamental human right, or at least that's what some people believe.

A fundamental human right that someone else should be forced to hand over to them.

What that article ignores is that even where some can access the internet many simply don't because they don't see value in it. End of the day, if people don't want to use it then there is nothing that can force them to sign up to it until they see something that motivates them to do so.

3 Mbps IS broadband. In fact, anything above 512Kbps is broadband. 3Mbps is all we were getting here in this UK city until we upgraded to fibre this spring. It's normal!

very sad, i was living in a former east block country and they were offering 120Mbps when i left. i am sure it is much higher than that now and you could get these speeds in rural and mountain areas. so much for one of the most richest and powerful countries in the world. not to be sounding anti american because i am an american, just sad in my opinion. this is just capitalism on steroids and no real consumer protection or rights.

Comcast around here is about the best you can get aside from 4G from Verizon Wirelss but the wifi isn't cheap. Comcast IMO should advance more into the back wooded area's to supply those other area's.

I'm in a town of 100,000, we have the choice between DSL from AT&T (slow cheap crap) or a local cable company (fast expensive crap)

Wasn't Obama's plan to bring broadband access to all Americans?

Has that even gone through yet? Has it really been 4 years? Damn.

The lack of subscribers is attributed both to people who are completely uneducated in technology and that prices are far too high for the relatively poor speeds from ISPs. I pay $60/mo for 50/8. My friend pays $50 for 7/1. Someone in another country pays $25 for 100/25. This is the stuff that needs to change. So long as America stays like this, consumers will stay shafted and the economy will stay sub-par.

I think it should be mandated, that 100% of the country have access to affordable, high speed reliable broadband. It's been done in other countries rather successfully (or rather it appears successful) so I can't see why it can't be done here in the US.

In fact I'd say the only thing keeping that from happening are the worthless politicians in DC.

292 millions people has access to high speed internet of the 311 million people in the US.
Dont get it why is this a big story?

So their governments attitude to rolling out high speed internet in the US is as backward as most of their social issues? Figures.

zikalify said,
So their governments attitude to rolling out high speed internet in the US is as backward as most of their social issues? Figures.
In the US I'd imagine the government has little to do with rolling out internet, beyond giving the company the Okay to do so if they ask.

These areas just aren't worth the investment for the companies..

Not that I agree.. imho Cable should be run to every house that wants it [ within reason.. so any house that can currently get landline phone, and power service.. not a hut in the middle of nowhere where D Cell batteries are the only power to be found lol ]

The province of Nova Scotia mandated 100% Broadband coverage of the province.. The various ISP's divided up the counties and each one set up Wireless Broadband towers to cover everywhere..

That said the speeds aren't the best, I max out at 3mbit down, and I have near perfect signal, generally I'm 2-4x faster than others on the same tower.

But still better than Dialup, which maxed out at 26.4 because of old phone lines. These isn't even DSL/ADSL cause the repeater is too far away..

Ryoken said,
The province of Nova Scotia mandated 100% Broadband coverage of the province.. The various ISP's divided up the counties and each one set up Wireless Broadband towers to cover everywhere..

That said the speeds aren't the best, I max out at 3mbit down, and I have near perfect signal, generally I'm 2-4x faster than others on the same tower.

But still better than Dialup, which maxed out at 26.4 because of old phone lines. These isn't even DSL/ADSL cause the repeater is too far away..

As a resident of NS and Canada it's not surprising. Canada as a whole has generally always maintained one of the best communications networks. Hell BellAlliant is currently offering sell FibreOp.

Ryoken said,
The province of Nova Scotia mandated 100% Broadband coverage of the province.. The various ISP's divided up the counties and each one set up Wireless Broadband towers to cover everywhere..

That said the speeds aren't the best, I max out at 3mbit down, and I have near perfect signal, generally I'm 2-4x faster than others on the same tower.

But still better than Dialup, which maxed out at 26.4 because of old phone lines. These isn't even DSL/ADSL cause the repeater is too far away..

Nova Scotia also isn't the size of the American West.

Kalint said,
Nova Scotia also isn't the size of the American West.
True, but the principle is the same.. If the states wanted too they could mandate, even offer to split the cost.. But they don't, not important enough.