A 1996 law required the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to issue annual reports on Americans' broadband access to the Internet. Despite progress since 1996, the FCC reported yesterday that 19 million Americans have no access -- that is, no broadband available -- and 100 million Americans in fact lack access to broadband (probably in many cases because of cost). In other words, on America has quick access to the Internet; another does not. To quote the FCC,
approximately 19 million Americans—6 percent of the population—still lack access to fixed broadband service at threshold speeds. In rural areas, nearly one-fourth of the population—14.5 million people—lack access to this service. In tribal areas, nearly one-third of the population lacks access. Even in areas where broadband is available, approximately 100 million Americans still do not subscribe. The report concludes that until the Commission’s Connect America reforms [which include efforts to make broadband more available to low-income Americans] are fully implemented, these gaps are unlikely to close. Because millions still lack access to or have not adopted broadband, the Report concludes broadband is not yet being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion.