Over eight million homes and businesses in the U.S. still do not have access to high-speed internet service, according to the latest version of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broadband availability map, released this week.
The FCC defines high-speed broadband as actual download speeds of at least 25 Mbps and actual upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps. There is a move in Congress to increase that to 100/20.
For now, though, FCC leader Jessica Rosenworcel says, “If we want everyone, everywhere, to have access to high-speed internet service, we will need to deploy broadband service to 8.3 million new locations.”
Rural areas of the U.S. are most prone to not having internet access, especially at the high-speed level. Satellite internet is slowly closing those gaps with providers like HughesNet, Viasat and Starlink.
Map is key to millions in funding
The broadband map is a tool for the government to allocate funding where it is needed most to build more or improve existing internet services.
It has taken years to get the map to this point of accuracy, just in time for Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) funding to be deployed.
As reported by Fierce Telecom, “While the number of unserved locations in the FCC’s National Broadband Map will be used in the allocation, the (National Telecommunications and Information Agency) NTIA said it will not be a 1:1 correlation to final BEAD funding, and recommended states refer to its Allocation of Funds blog for more information about how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law directs NTIA to make allocations.”
To ensure accuracy, the map debuted in late 2022 with a “challenge” tool utilized by stakeholders like city and state government agencies, individuals, internet service providers, Tribal entities and more.
“Over 75% of those challenges have already been resolved, and the majority have led to updates in the data on the map showing where broadband is available. At the same time, the new map also reflects a net increase of more than one million new serviceable locations, as compared to the November 2022 pre-production draft,” said Rosenworcel.
According to the FCC, the map will continue to be improved, with new releases twice a year.
Check your internet speed
If you are unsure if your internet plan meets the FCC’s requirements, check it with Allconnect’s speed test. If you are experiencing lag time or connection issues, it might be time to research internet providers in your area.
Check out our news hub to keep up-to-date on the latest information about broadband availability and internet plans.
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Written by:Robin Layton
Editor, Broadband Content
Robin Layton is an editor with Allconnect. She works closely with the content team writers to ensure consumers get a fair and balanced reporting of the state of broadband services to help them understand the pro… Read more
Edited by:Camryn Smith
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