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Hate your internet provider? Here’s why you might be stuck with them

Charter and Comcast have an “absolute monopoly” over at least 47 million Americans, according to a new report.

Hate your internet provider? Here’s why you might be stuck with them
[Photo: Dina Lydia/Unsplash]

Ever wish you could ditch your ISP for one with higher speeds and lower costs? Too bad. According to a new report from the Institute for Local Self Reliance, a community economic development advocacy group, tens of millions of Americans have no real choice in who their internet service provider is.

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The report looked at the latest FCC data to analyze ISP competition across the country. What it found was pretty depressing:

  • “At least” 49.7 million Americans have only one choice of broadband internet service. Yep, one choice isn’t a “choice” at all.
  • Charter and Comcast have an “absolute monopoly” over at least 47 million Americans.
    An additional 33 million Americans only have the choice of “less reliable DSL” as an alternative to the two big guns.
  • Rural America is laughably screwed. The big ISPs have bailed on rural Americans. Rural DSL speeds frequently don’t come close to broadband speeds.
  • Rural Americans are in for more pain this year. That’s because the Connect America Fund, which supplies federal subsidies for broadband infrastructure in rural areas, comes to an end this year. The fund has given billions to ISPs “without requiring significant new investment.”

You can read the Institute for Local Self Reliance’s full, depressing report here.

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