14.5 million Americans, including 13% of Americans in rural areas, still lack access to a broadband internet connection according to the FCC. This data understates the extent of the problem, with the real number of Americans lacking access as high as 42 million. As the COVID-19 pandemic increased Americans’ reliance on the internet to attend school, visit a doctor, and go to work, it also highlighted how many communities — particularly rural ones — lacked vital access to fast, reliable, and affordable internet.
In response, DDAA has developed a “roadmap” featuring the key steps in expanding broadband. Based on reviews of key literature and interviews with subject matter experts and regional stakeholders, the roadmap is intended to help LDD staff and leadership think through the process of expanding regional broadband coverage.