The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released a draft version progress report on broadband access and use on Friday, and according to the federal agency, almost 10 percent of Americans — roughly 34 million people — lack basic average access to fixed broadband.

In a study that included Internet services like DSL, cable, fiber, satellite and Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs), the results found that a staggering disparity existed in broadband accessibility between rural and urban users.

"A persistent urban-rural digital divide has left 39 percent of the rural population without access to fixed broadband," stated the report, which was published on Friday, Jan. 8. "By comparison, only four percent living in urban areas lack access."

Even more devastating: 41 percent of Tribal Lands residents — those who live on lands legally-designated to members of indigent tribal nations — also lack access, and 41 percent of American schools fail to meet the FCC's goal of 1 Gbps per every 1,000 students, leaving 47 percent of U.S. students at a great disadvantage overall.

There is one optimistic finding: a general uptick in overall fixed access. As ARS Technica pointed out, 20 percent of Americans were without broadband fixed access at 25 Mbps for downloads, 3 Mbps for uploads — that number has fallen to 10 percent when last reported in 2014.

"While the nation continues to make progress in broadband deployment, advanced telecommunications capability is not being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion to all Americans," the FCC concluded.

The full progress report is set to be published later this year.

Via: ARS Technica

Photo: Sean MacEntee | Flickr

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