Suspension bridge transforming into rainbow colored cables

 
"Since my first day as Chairman of the FCC, my number one priority has been closing the digital divide and bringing the benefits of the Internet age to all Americans." – FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

Bridging the Digital Divide

High-speed Internet access, or broadband, is critical to economic opportunity, job creation, education, and civic engagement. But there are too many parts of this country where broadband is unavailable. In urban areas, 97% of Americans have access to high-speed fixed service. In rural areas, that number falls to 65%. And on Tribal lands, barely 60% have access. All told, nearly 30 million Americans cannot reap the benefits of the digital age.

Reports & Data

News

June 10, 2019 – Statement
Chairman Pai Statement on Increased Broadband Investment in 2018

June 10, 2019 – News Release
FCC Authorizes $166.8 Million to Expand Rural Broadband in 22 States

May 29, 2019 – Report
Broadband Deployment Report: Digital Divide Narrowing Substantially

May 22, 2019 – News Release
FCC Chairman Discusses Rural Broadband in Okmulgee, Oklahoma

Key Initiatives

Under Chairman Pai's leadership, the FCC has taken a number of steps to expand broadband across America. These include:

  • Completing the Connect America Fund Phase II reverse auction, which allocated $1.488 billion to expand broadband to more than 700,000 rural locations in 45 states. Through this fund, the FCC also partnered with New York to provide up to $170 million to support rural broadband in combination with $220 million from the state.
  • Adopting a Mobility Fund framework to allocate up to $4.53 billion over the next decade to advance 4G LTE service, primarily in rural areas that would not be served in the absence of government support.
  • Launching the Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee to provide advice and recommendations to the Commission on how to accelerate the deployment of high-speed Internet access, including ways to reduce and remove regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment.
  • Initiating rulemakings focused on speeding the deployment of both wireline and wireless networks.
  • Streamlining rules to accelerate the transition to modern broadband networks. These include:
    • Reviewing rules that govern access to utility poles and conduits, which can be a costly and time-consuming barrier to broadband deployment.
    • Revising rules that needlessly delay or even stop companies from replacing copper with fiber and that delay discontinuance of technologies from the 1970s in favor of services using Internet Protocol (IP) technologies.

 

Road Trip Highlights (Moments)