With the upcoming implementation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, cities, states, and local governments in 2022 will begin to make use of the $40+ billion set aside for broadband projects. How successful those funds are at building new networks to unserved and underserved populations depends on which projects receive approval. Given their long track record of success, incumbent cable internet service providers (ISPs) are best suited to utilize federal funds and build reliable networks where they are most needed. Here are a few reasons why:
Since the turn of the millennium, cable broadband providers have invested more than $300 billion into internet infrastructure, which has resulted in the reliable networks Americans rely on today. Those are the same networks that operated resiliently throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the pivot to remote work and distance learning. This robust investment, coupled with decades of experience, has also resulted in gigabit cable broadband service becoming available to a significant share of American households - 84% overall and 94% of non-rural locations.
The massive investment in networks has resulted in a 24,900% increase in the most widely available top internet speeds from cable broadband providers over the past 20 years. And while the top super-fast internet speeds might be more than the average household currently needs, with rapid technological development and application innovation, cable’s robust networks are prepared for whatever the future brings.
The expansion of super-fast networks is not limited to dense urban centers. In fact, more rural and far-out communities are being wired with gigabit broadband networks, and communities of all shapes and sizes are benefitting. In the short time period between 2019 and 2020, cable’s broadband service became available to an additional 538,000 homes in rural and remote areas.
The success of these projects is a strong endorsement of what incumbent ISPs are able to do with targeted investment. The expertise and long-term experience with complex infrastructure builds means that these industry leaders are trusted partners that will continue to work hard to connect all Americans to super-fast internet networks. By working together, the cable industry and community partners all over the map can work together to close the digital divide.
Read more on how the cable industry is committed to connecting every American to high-speed broadband.