Ajit Pai Says More Americans Can Access High-Speed Internet, But FCC Dem Disagrees
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai last week released a draft of the agency's 2019 Broadband Deployment Report which showed that the number of Americans who lack access to high-speed internet service dropped by 25%. “For the past two years, closing the digital divide has been the FCC’s top priority,” Pai said. “We’ve been tackling this problem by removing barriers to infrastructure investment, promoting competition, and providing efficient, effective support for rural broadband expansion through our Connect America Fund. This report shows that our approach is working. But we won’t rest until all Americans can have access to broadband and the 21st century opportunities it provides to communities everywhere.” Not so fast, said FCC Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. Responding to the report, she said, “I beg to differ. Millions of households—in rural and urban communities—have no access to high-speed service. That’s a fact.” Critics also pointed out that broadband deployment improved at similar rates during the Obama administration, despite Pai's claims that the FCC's net neutrality rules harmed deployment during that period. We’ll keep you posted on the final report. More here.