Broadband technologies are currently being deployed, primarily by the private sector, throughout the United States. While the number of new broadband subscribers continues to grow, in general, rural areas—and tribal areas in particular—tend to lag behind urban and suburban areas in broadband deployment and the speed of service offered.Some policymakers, believing that disparities in broadband access across American society could have adverse economic and social consequences on those left behind, assert that the federal government should play a more active role to address the“digital divide” in broadband access, particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,which further revealed discrepancies in broadband availability and accessibility.
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