Rep. Stearns ‘perplexed’ by FCC’s broadband report

Democrats and Republicans are often split over whether the state of American broadband access is satisfactory.

Republicans, including two commissioners at the FCC, routinely point to the figure of 95 percent, which is the share of the country that has access to broadband. The Republican commissioners are expected to dissent from the report’s findings.

But Democrats, who have three votes at the FCC, draw attention to the 14 million to 24 million Americans who remain without access.

U.S. Telecom, the association for broadband providers, also questioned the report, issuing a Monday statement from chief executive Walter McCormick. A poor broadband report would “strain credulity,” he said. “Clearly, our country is in the middle of a broadband explosion.”

Public Knowledge, a consumer activist group, came to the defense of the report on Monday. Gigi Sohn, PK’s president, said the FCC’s findings are “realistic.”

“Until now, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued reports finding the state of broadband was acceptable, even as other nations were passing us by,” she said.

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