.. these new rules fail to rectify existing inequalities between urban and rural communities.
The FCC in 2015 redefined broadband as connections with 25 megabits per second (Mbps) download speeds and 4 Mbps upload speeds. This is more than six times the previous standard of 4 Mbps download, allowing for multiple simultaneous video streams. According to the FCC’s 2016 Broadband Progress Report, 10 percent of Americans lack access to broadband by this definition.
This number, however, fails to illustrate the stark contrast between rural and urban access to broadband.
Rural areas have significantly slower internet access, with 39 percent lacking access to broadband of 25/4 Mbps, compared to only 4 percent for urban areas. This rural/urban “digital divide” in access severely limits rural populations from taking advantage of a critical component of modern life.