The FCC has officially issued this year’s Broadband Deployment Report, summarizing the extent to which the agency and industry have closed the digital divide in this country. But not everyone agrees with it: “The rosy picture the report paints about the status of broadband deployment is fundamentally at odds with reality,” said Geoffrey Starks in a lengthy dissenting statement.
The yearly report, mandated by Congress, documents things like new broadband customers in rural areas, broadband expanding to new regions and all that sort of thing. The one issued today proclaims cheerfully:
[The FCC] has made closing the digital divide between Americans with, and without, access to modern broadband networks its top priority. As a result of those efforts, the digital divide has narrowed substantially, and more Americans than ever before have access to high-speed broadband.
We find, for a second consecutive year, that advanced telecommunications capability is being deployed on a reasonable and timely basis.
Naturally the FCC wants to highlight the progress made rather than linger on failures, but this year the latter are highly germane, as Starks points out, largely because one error in particular threw off the results by millions.