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New FCC data shows growing number of Americans with access to quality broadband

New data released Nov. 12 by the Federal Communications Commission shows that the number of Americans with access to high-speed broadband is on the rise.

At the end of 2019, the number of Americans living in areas that lack access to high-speed broadband was 14.5 million, which the FCC says is a 46% decrease from the end of 2016.

The commission uses download speeds of at least 25 Mbps and upload speeds of at least 3 Mbps as its benchmark for high-speed broadband.

"My top priority since becoming FCC Chairman has been closing the digital divide, and I'm proud that this new deployment data show that we are delivering on that promise for the American people," said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in a Nov. 12 statement.

Pai also touted the agency's work on a $20.4 billion fund, known as the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which he says could bring broadband to as many as 10.25 million unserved Americans across rural America.

The RDOF targets financial support to help deploy high-speed broadband networks in parts of rural America that do not have fixed broadband service of 25 Mbps for downloads and 3 Mbps for uploads.

The first phase of the RDOF auction is underway.