More Americans Have High-Speed Internet Access Than Ever
Preliminary FCC report claims the number of Americans with high-speed connections grew by 20 percent in 2017.
For all the drama over the repeal of Net Neutrality and continuing fears about a "digital divide" between online haves and have-nots, the number of Americans with high-speed access to the Internet continues to grow, says a preliminary report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The report covers development in 2017, the latest year for which data are available. From an FCC press release:
The number of Americans lacking access to a fixed broadband connection meeting the FCC's benchmark speed of 25 Mbps/3 Mbps has dropped by over 25%, from 26.1 million Americans at the end of 2016 to 19.4 million at the end of 2017. Moreover, the majority of those gaining access to such high-speed connections, approximately 5.6 million, live in rural America, where broadband deployment has traditionally lagged.
The private sector has responded to FCC reforms by deploying fiber to 5.9 million new homes in 2018, the largest number ever recorded. And overall, capital expenditures by broadbandproviders increased in 2017, reversing declines that occurred in both 2015 and 2016...
Declines in 2015 and 2016. When did "NN" go into effect? April 2015. Who was president back then? Oh, yea, Barrack Hussein Obama, mmm mmm mmm! (Let's all chant like good communists). So when "NN" was in effect, people got less high speed Internet service. But when the Internet was unregulated, people got more service, and at less cost. Who would have thought that? Anyone who has any knowledge of history and free markets. More on that in a moment.
...Other key findings of the report include the following, based on data through the end of 2017:
The number of Americans with access to 100 Mbps/10Mpbs fixed broadband increased by nearly 20%, from 244.3 million to 290.9 million.
The number of Americans with access to 250 Mbps/50 Mbps fixed broadband grew by over 45%, to 205.2 million, and the number of rural Americans with access to such service more than doubled.
Back to economics. The more often you sell something, the less of a profit margin you need to make money. A gallon of milk, a gallon of gas, a loaf of bread, there is a small margin of profit there. You buy these things constantly, so there is a motivation to make them inexpensively, and you profit by volume. How often do you buy a diamond ring? Not often, so the profit margin is relatively large, seeing the jewelry store won't see you for another few years.
Internet service, like other services (e.g. telephone, electricity), is still in it's growing phases, but remember, these businesses want to do business. And the consumer will get better service, at lower cost, when the competition is cut throat.
Anyone remember the great old days of Ma Bell? One regulated phone company. I do, and for the young, allow me to tell you, it sucked. Or something many young people know of, Uber. Did you really enjoy only having one cab service in your city? Prior to 2011, that was all you had. Personally I like having an app so I can get a vehicle to my house in less than 10 minutes, getting a ride to where I want to go, at half the cost of a cab. Competition in electricy anyone? Cellular phones service?
Show me anything controlled by government, and I'll show you a 19th bureaucratic model with no motivation to enter the latter part of the 20th Century. USPS anyone? It's completely illogical to believe they only want to think they don't want to provide a service that makes them a profit. However, bureaucracies want control, even when there is no issue.
I've got my issues with Trump, but damn, he hit the ball out the park with killing "NN." Hopefully, after a Democrat gets into the Oval Office (it's will happen), they will leave the Internet alone. Forgive me if I have my doubts.