Studies Show More Than Half Of Arkansans Do Not Have Broadband Internet

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ARKANSAS (KFSM) – According to recent surveys, Arkansas is ranked as one of the lowest states in the nation, when it comes to broadband internet availability.

“Right now, Arkansas, in some surveys, is 50th in the country for broadband deployment,” said Stephen Meeks, a state representative.

Meeks is one of the state elected officials who is making a push for the state to expand its broadband bandwidth.

“It has become an essential part of our lives these days,” Meeks said.

The FCC defines broadband as 25 megabit downloads per second.

Meeks said 59% of Arkansans do not have access to broadband internet services.

Meeks, and others, are working together to try and aid internet providers with their efforts to expand internet services.

“This is a state wide issue, that we are hoping to try and improve on,” Meeks said. “This is not just a rural problem. We are also having issues with this in some of the urban areas. it plays a major factor in not only growing our local businesses. But, if we are going to recruit businesses from outside the state, which is one thing they will ask for. Is there broadband available? If you are going to do business these days, you have to have access to the internet.”

AT&T announced plans to expand their internet services in Northwest Arkansas, Fort Smith, and Little Rock by the end of 2016.

1 Comment

  • Leten Uno

    Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plan to improve Internet access in the United States. The FCC was directed to create the plan by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and unveiled its plan on March 16, 2010.
    Enacted by a democrat house and senate majority, signed into law by President Obama.

    The goals of the plan are described on broadband.gov:

    At least 100 million U.S. homes should have affordable access to actual download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second and actual upload speeds of at least 50 megabits per second by the year 2020.
    The United States should lead the world in mobile innovation, with the fastest and most extensive wireless networks of any nation.
    Every American should have affordable access to robust broadband service, and the means and skills to subscribe if they so choose.
    Every American community should have affordable access to at least 1 gigabit per second broadband service to anchor institutions such as schools, hospitals, and government buildings.
    To ensure the safety of the American people, every first responder should have access to a nationwide, wireless, interoperable broadband public safety network.
    To ensure that America leads in the clean energy economy, every American should be able to use broadband to track and manage their real-time energy consumption.

    I hope the representative is referencing this program. It’s better to be a small part of a big thing, than a big part of a small thing.

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