NCTA: Cable ISPs Aren't Playing Urban Favorites

(Image credit: Source: NCTA from FCC and Census Bureau Data)

Cable operators aren't gerrymandering their broadband service in urban areas but instead delivering fast speeds equitably throughout their footprint, said NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, which also said it has the data to back up that assertion.

NCTA said that the claim that ISPs favor some communities “absolutely” does not apply.

Citing its own just-released analysis, NCTA said that gigabit speeds are offered to 91% of all urban households, and while that percentage rises to 94% of middle income residents, it actually falls to 90% of those with the highest income.

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As to any claims of a difference in availability according to race or ethnicity, NCTA said there is “virtually no” difference.

For urban areas with the highest percentage of African-Americans and Hispanics, that availability of gigabit speeds from cable broadband providers is 92% and 94%, respectively. For urban areas with the lowest percentage of African-Americans and Hispanics, the figures are 92% and 94%, said NCTA.

The data, said NCTA, "clearly shows that cable broadband providers have built and continue to update broadband networks throughout their entire service areas, including urban centers."

The NCTA study is based on FCC broadband availability data, which the association concedes needs improving, and Census Bureau data for racial composition. 

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.