Good news: We’ve never been closer to achieving universal broadband connectivity in America with 93% of U.S. homes now using the internet.
With a 100% connected nation in sight, let’s take a look at three ways cable broadband providers are working to get America over the finish line and close the digital divide.
1. Building New Networks
Over the past decades, cable broadband providers have invested hundreds of billions of dollars to expand and upgrade high-speed networks across the country.
In fact, since 2020, more than 8.7 million new households have been brought online.
Those who still lack internet access tend to live in rural, hard-to-reach areas. Long distances and rough terrain between households and businesses in these parts of the country can make expanding broadband a challenging – but surmountable – task.
- What’s being done: Cable broadband providers have developed creative ways to expand internet service into rural communities – but the process can get expensive. Funding programs, including state and private grants along with public-private partnerships, are essential to building networks in hard-to-reach areas.
- Looking ahead: Record-setting broadband expansion investments set to be released later this year will only accelerate efforts to connect rural and hard-to-reach regions and bolster the public-private partnerships that are critical to reaching unserved communities.
2. Offering Affordable Services
Closing the digital divide means more than just expanding internet access. That’s why cable broadband providers have rolled out new internet plans that can provide qualifying households internet service for free – under the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP).
- In total, 51.6 million households are eligible to benefit from the ACP.
- Program participation has increased by almost 75% since its launch at the end of 2021.
- Find out if you qualify here.
Aside from participating in the Affordable Connectivity Program, cable broadband providers also have their own plans that offer low-cost internet service, computer equipment, digital literacy training, plus community technology centers across the country.
3. Delivering Best in Class Everywhere
Equal access to broadband is essential to providing equal opportunity to all Americans.
And cable broadband providers have made important strides towards a digitally equitable future:
- As of June 2022, gigabit broadband service is available to 96% of the locations that cable providers serve – regardless of household income.
- At least 95% of all locations in cable provider service areas can access gigabit speeds regardless of race or ethnicity.
What’s next on the path to reaching digital equity? Ensuring historic federal broadband investments results in America successfully closing its digital divide, once and for all.
Universal Broadband Connectivity is Achievable
Having a high-speed internet connection is essential in today’s digital age.
And while achieving 100% connectivity feels like a tall order, the pieces of the puzzle are coming together. Cable broadband providers are committed to getting the job done and bringing opportunity to every corner of America.
To learn more about what else must be done to reach 100% connectivity, click here.