Why 23 million Americans don't have fast internet by Vox   3 weeks ago

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Sources:

FCC 2015 Notice of Inquiry: https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-15-10A1.pdf
FCC 2016 Broadband Progress Report: https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/reports/broadband-progress-reports/2016-broadband-progress-report
FCC Broadband Deployment Map: https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/maps/bpr-2016-fixed-25mbps-3mbps-deployment/
FCC 4G Data: https://www.fcc.gov/reports-research/maps/nationwide-lte-coverage-ye-2015/
Community and Regional Development Research Study on Economic Health in non-metro counties: https://cardi.cals.cornell.edu/sites/cardi.cals.cornell.edu/files/shared/documents/ResearchPolicyBriefs/Policy-Brief-Feb15-draft03.pdf
Akamai State of the Internet Report, 2017: https://www.akamai.com/us/en/about/our-thinking/state-of-the-internet-report/
FCC 2017 Notice of Inquiry: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db0808/FCC-17-109A1.pdf

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High-speed internet service is lacking in much of rural America. The causes are complicated, but non-competitive cable markets, misguided government funding, and infrastructural obstacles have limited expansion up until now. Despite the troubles, some rural Americans are receiving internet via both wireless and wireline systems, but the internet service many receive falls short of the 25mbps up/3mbps down set by the Federal Communications Commission in 2015 during the Obama Administration. Receiving that level of service typically requires a wireline connection provided by fiber optic cable, which many rural residents don't have because the remote territories that would be served are hard to reach and require massive investments that private cable companies like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast aren't willing to make. If service is available, it is often much more expensive than similar service in urban markets. An idea for solving the problem might be to adopt the funding model similar to the one that helped expand rural electrification during the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. At that time, the government paid local electric cooperatives willing to do the work to provide electricity in their communities. Unlike electrification, there are many models for broadband deployment, including cooperatives, but also municipal broadband, private companies and other public-private partnerships. If Trump's government plans to spend more money on rural broadband, then following the model of electrification might help correct some of the funding troubles that have plagued broadband expansion up to this point.

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