As Broadband Deserts Recede, Cost of Service Still a Question

Broadband access in the U.S. is improving but connectivity is overstated, with as many as 22 million residents still lacking high-speed Internet connections, a research group has found.

A report released Tuesday by BroadbandNow, which focuses on documenting and understanding the digital divide, follows up on work it did in 2020, manually checking Federal Communications Commission (FCC) data to estimate up to 42 million Americans then lacked the ability to purchase broadband Internet…

What remains to be seen, said Karen Lightman, executive director of Metro21: Smart Cities Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, is just how affordable those broadband plans will be to rural residents.

“It’s really up to the states that are making these decisions,” Lightman said in an interview.

Cooper, from BroadbandNow, agreed, saying the cost of the service plans and how that cost affects coverage is still somewhat of an open question.

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