Wednesday, March 19, 2008

FCC broadband data for first half of 2007 show nation plagued by persistent telco broadband black holes

The Federal Communications Commission's semi-annual report on broadband deployment as required by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 covering the first half of 2007 is out and the numbers aren't good. (See Table 14) They show virtually no improvement in the percentage of residences that can get high speed Internet from their telcos during the first half of 2007 compared to all of 2006.

On average, nearly 20 percent of Americans still are unable to get broadband from their incumbent telephone companies. In some states -- notably Vermont, Virginia, New Hampshire and Maine -- the number is even worse, with fully one third of state households cut off from the modern era of telecommunications. No state exceeds the 91 percent availability rate of Georgia, though Nevada and California come close with 90 percent and 89 percent, respectively.

Kentucky's figure of 87 percent also casts doubt on the claim of Connect Kentucky in an Aug. 9, 2007 news release that 94 percent of households in the Blue Grass State can get broadband and no households will be left in digital darkness by the end of 2007. The organization was the subject of a January expose by Public Knowledge's Art Brodsky, who debunked its overblown broadband access claims.

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