We published our first profile of the largest cable and telecom providers in 2018, where we detailed the lack of real choices most Americans had when it came to high-quality, reliable broadband. At the time, we found that for the largest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) investment was correlated to competition rather than the regulatory environment. Monopoly ISPs expanded their Fiber-to-the-Home networks only in areas where they faced competition, and rural Americans were left behind as a result.
Our 2020 report, Profiles of Monopoly: Big Cable and Telecom finds that these key points remain true, and the report includes a host of new maps to show it. From the report:
- Comcast and Charter maintain an absolute monopoly over at least 47 million people, and another 33 million people only have slower and less reliable DSL as a “competitive” choice.
- The big telecom companies have largely abandoned rural America — their DSL networks overwhelmingly do not support broadband speeds — despite many billions spent over years of federal subsidies and many state grant programs. The Connect America Fund ends this year as a failure, leaving millions of Americans behind after giving billions to the biggest firms without requiring significant new investment.
- At least 49.7 million Americans live in an area with only one choice of broadband Internet service.
Read the 2020 report Profiles of Monopoly: Big Cable and Telecom [pdf].