In spite of an estimated $1 trillion in investments by landline and wireless broadband providers over the last 16 years, around 100 million Americans still don’t subscribe to fixed high-speed Internet service, a Federal Communications Commission report found.
Why aren’t more people subscribing to broadband?
They cite "lack of relevance, lack of affordability, and lack of digital literacy," FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement.
The annual report also found that 6 percent of the U.S. population or around 19 million Americans don’t have access to fixed broadband service at threshold speeds defined by the agency.
Most of those people live in rural areas, and nearly one third of the population in tribal regions lack broadband, according to the report.
Still, there has been significant progress. In its previous annual report, based on data reported as of June 30, 2010, the FCC found roughly 26 million Americans lacked access to broadband.
The figures don’t tell the entire story either.
U.S. wireless carriers including AT&T and Verizon Wireless have been deploying high-speed mobile networks that reach hundreds of millions of Americans, and one estimate found that 46 percent of American adults owned smartphones as of February 2012.