Who Gets Broadband When? A Panel Data Analysis of Demographic, Economic and Technological Factors Explaining U.S. Broadband Deployment
22 Pages Posted: 19 Mar 2018 Last revised: 8 Oct 2018
Date Written: August 15, 2018
We study how US broadband has been deployed from 2014 to 2016 at the block and block-group level, focusing on access technology development and upgrades, expansion in rural and non-rural areas, demographics, and ISP growth. Since broadband definitions have changed over time, we provide statistical analyses using both the 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds as well as 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speeds. We combine data from Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 477 forms, the 2010 Census, and 2010-2014 American Community Survey (ACS) data to analyze the technology, performance, provider, and service territory characteristics affecting broadband offerings. Starting with an infrastructure-centric analysis, we analyze the most common technologies in new broadband deployments and then proceed to determine the speed distributions for each. We then focus on the rural/non-rural divide in expansion and investigate whether broadband is becoming more readily available in regions with lower economic growth factors and lower educational rates. Aside from this infrastructure-focused analysis, we used a binary logistic regression to analyze the regression coefficients and general statistics between broadband deployment and key demographic indicators of economic status, population change, and education over time. Finally, we explore how provider coverage across the nation has changed. Currently, 58% of households for 25/3 broadband and 76% for 10/1 broadband have access to two or more wireline or fixed broadband service offerings. With this in mind, we further analyzed providers' territorial expansion, change in subscribers, and competition with new offerings such as Google Fiber.
Keywords: Broadband Deployment, Internet Infrastructure, Internet Technology, Internet Service Providers, Rural/Urban Divide, Broadband Demographics
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