WASHINGTON — Around six percent of the US population, or 19 million people, lack access to high-speed Internet even though deployment has improved in recent years, a government study said Tuesday.
Around 14.5 million of those without access to broadband are in rural areas, the Federal Communications Commission report said. And in native American tribal areas, about 30 percent do not have access to high-speed Internet.
The FCC report was the eighth annual study on broadband, which is seen as important for jobs, and global competitiveness.
The report said that even though most Americans can get high-speed access, roughly 100 million Americans still do not subscribe and that further steps should be taken toward the goal of making broadband available in homes, schools and businesses.
The report said private firms have invested more than $1 trillion in high-speed data services and the FCC has promoted a program of Internet access for low-income Americans, but that more progress is needed.
"The report's conclusions only reaffirm what I hear all too often from small business owners, parents, educators and others across the country -- we can't let up on our efforts to unleash the benefits of broadband for every American," said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski.
"Increasing broadband deployment, increasing adoption, increasing speeds and capacity are vital throughout our country; they're essential to growing our innovation economy and driving our global competitiveness."