More people in the US lack broadband than the entire population of New York

Flickr via Christiaan Colen. Click for original. (Image credit: Flickr via Christiaan Colen)

Are you happy with your broadband speed? Do you even have broadband? A surprising number of people still don't, according to a new report released by the US government today.

The American Broadband Initiative (ABI) report spans dozens of pages and outlines the government's strategy to expand broadband access and deliver faster speeds. According to the report, 92 percent the US population had access to fixed land-based broadband at speeds of 25Mbps downstream and 3Mbps upstream in 2016.

"Nonetheless, the remaining 8 percent represents more than 24 million Americans who lack access to this basic service. Of those households, 80 percent live in rural communities. This is more people than live in the States of New York or Florida," the report states (PDF).

In case you're wondering, the population in New York is around 20 million, while nearly 21 million people live in Florida.

"Throughout our economy, emerging technologies are disrupting pre-existing business models and creating unprecedented opportunities for the American people. However, without access to reliable high-speed broadband, too many Americans are being left out of those opportunities. This is particularly true in rural America, where nearly 39 percent of Americans lack sufficient broadband access," the White House said in a statement.

The report outlines various goals for nearly two dozen federal agencies. Several of the goals are split between funding efforts and streamlining deployment, the latter of which basically amounts to reducing red tape (or cutting through it faster).

It's a bit of a dry read overall, though there are some interesting stats. For example, the report says more than 65 percent of rural Americans use the internet at home, compared to almost 73 percent of urban residents. That in and of itself isn't surprising, but what is a bit shocking is that "the gap has remained fairly constant over the past 20 years."

The report also touches on mobile broadband deployment and adoption, which will be of increasing importance when 5G replaces 4G LTE on a large scale.

An earlier version of this article stated the population of New York is 8.6 million, which is the population of New York City. The population of New York is closer to 20 million.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).