NTCA has released a new report highlighting remarkable progress in achieving reliable fiber internet connectivity in rural communities.
Here are the details of the news.
NTCA: Rural Fiber Availability Reaches 84%
This week, NTCA, the Rural Broadband Association, has announced its 2023 Broadband/Internet Availability Survey Report based on its research on rural broadband providers that endeavor to provide reliable services in rural areas.
According to the NTCA’s survey report, fiber-based internet is now available to 84% of rural people. This means eight out of every ten rural individuals can access fiber internet.
The study was based on a survey of NTCA members, which are small, rural broadband providers.
The member providers have revealed that almost 82% of surveyed customers have 100 Mbps upload speeds, which is considered the minimum threshold for high-speed internet by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and around 61% of customers have 1 Gbps upload speed.
The download speeds are also increasing constantly, with over two-thirds of customers accessing 1 Gbps download speeds. Furthermore, the report shows customers quickly add higher speeds when they are available.
The report suggested that NTCA member providers have continued deploying fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks, which provide higher downstream and upstream speeds in rural areas.
In a statement, NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield said, “NTCA’s Broadband/Internet Availability Survey has long tracked how our members have consistently led the charge in deploying the best possible broadband in deeply rural areas.”
The CEO continued, “This year’s survey reinforces and underscores NTCA members’ abiding commitment to the communities they serve, advancing broadband built to last in rural America, and highlights how rural consumers are making greater use of these services.”
“But as our members know well and as the survey also highlights, the mission of service is just beginning once the initial deployment is done. We need to sustain these foundational efforts so that rural consumers have access to affordable broadband that keeps pace with their escalating demands for many years to come,” Bloomfield added.
The study also reported the technologies the providers use to deliver broadband service. Almost 98% of providers indicated they use optical fiber to provide services to people, highlighting the increased use of fiber technology as compared to 2022.
Nearly 45.9% reported the use of copper wire to serve their areas. This has significantly reduced from the 53.1% of providers who used copper loops in 2022.
The report indicated limited use of other technologies, such as unlicensed terrestrial fixed wireless and coaxial cable HFC, to provide fixed broadband service.
The NTCA’s 2023 survey report demonstrates the significant development in reducing the digital divide in rural areas.
Fibre technology offers many advantages over traditional technologies, including faster speeds, reliability, and larger bandwidth. The improvement in internet accessibility in rural regions of the country is indeed impressive.
However, there still remains more to be done as 16% of rural people again lack high-speed Internet availability.
Hence, governments, providers, and organizations need to put in more effort to join their hands to overcome the challenges of funding, rules, and regulations to ensure that all Americans receive high-speed, reliable internet to succeed in digital connectivity.
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