New U.S. Data Shows More Competition and Openness Is Needed to Bring All Americans Online

Contact Info: 

Liz Rose, Communications Director, 202-265-1490 x 32 or 202-355-3559

WASHINGTON -- New Commerce Department figures released today highlight the challenges in bringing affordable broadband connections to all Americans. The National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) reports that 40 percent of Americans still don't have high-speed Internet at home.

S. Derek Turner, research director of Free Press, made the following statement:

"The new Commerce Department data underscores why we need the National Broadband Plan to be grounded in policies that promote meaningful competition and openness on the Internet. The report shows that though we've made some strides in closing the rural-urban digital divide, we’ve made little progress in connecting more racial and ethnic minorities or lower-income Americans.

"The data indicate that many people simply think broadband is too expensive or they don't see any value in the service. Overcoming these barriers will be challenging, but it is clear that promoting more effective competition and ensuring access to diverse online content will be essential to reaching the goal of universal broadband adoption.

"The FCC should focus its policies on promoting robust competition that lowers prices and promotes innovation. It must also act to preserve the Internet as an open communications platform, which will in turn facilitate the availability of diverse content that will help raise the value of the Internet for those who haven’t adopted the expensive and slow services that unfortunately characterize the U.S. broadband market."

Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at

People + Policy

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people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good