ICYMI: New Report Finds Only Half of U.S. Households Have Internet Access at True Broadband Speeds

Findings Highlight the Urgency to Prioritize Unserved Communities and Maximize the Reach of Broadband Resources to Close the Digital Divide

In case you missed it, a new report from The NPD Group found only 50 percent of households in the continental U.S. access internet service at true broadband speeds. The findings underscore the scale of the challenge, along with the importance of prioritizing unserved communities in federal broadband programs and maximizing the cost-effectiveness, reach and positive impact of resources targeted at eliminating the digital divide.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Only 50 percent of households in the continental U.S. have a true broadband speed of 25Mbps download or higher.
  • 34 percent of homes receive internet access at speeds of less than 5Mbps, with 15 percent not having any internet access at all.
  • Vermont, West Virginia, New Mexico and Mississippi are the least connected states. Only 24 percent of households in Vermont access the internet at true broadband speeds.

The NPD report findings align with other third-party studies that also found the true scale of the digital divide is much larger than estimated by official government broadband maps. For example, a 2020 analysis from Microsoft found 120 million people do not use the internet at broadband speeds.

Read more about The NPD Group’s report HERE.

Read more about Microsoft’s usage data study HERE.

Learn more about how policymakers can prioritize unserved communities and maximize the positive impact of federal programs to eliminate the digital divide HERE.

Learn more about CAN and our mission HERE.


Join our fight to bring broadband to all rural Americans. Tell Washington to take action to bridge the digital divide now!