GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
While most Americans have broadband internet access, many do not—a gap known as the digital divide. Federal efforts to bridge it rely on data FCC collects from broadband providers. We have raised concerns that this data overstates service.
In 2020, FCC was tasked with mapping all U.S.
We surveyed people whose email addresses were attached to public comments on proposed rules from 10 federal agencies. From 5% to 30% of the people (depending on the agency) said they did not make the comment. At 8 agencies, most of the comments did not have email addresses.
In the U.S., the FCC and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration regulate use of radio-frequency spectrum to help ensure there's enough available for 5G networks, satellites, and everything else.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, 96% of the U.S. population has access to broadband—an always "on" internet connection—at or above the FCC's benchmark for minimum speed. (Access rates are lower in rural areas and we previously found overall access may be overstated.
All Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools closed their buildings in March 2020 in response to COVID-19, affecting over 41,000 students at 183 schools.
We testified that the Bureau did not offer comprehensive guidance on distance learning.
The Federal Communications Commission's Lifeline program provides discounts on phone and internet service for low-income Americans. Service providers used to check applicants' eligibility, but by June 2020, most applicants were required to use FCC's new "Verifier" system instead.
Fifth-generation (5G) wireless promises not just to increase speeds but to enable new applications like automated cars and smart factories.
We reviewed U.S. 5G development. It's still early, with efforts focusing on increasing speed and connecting more devices.
The Federal Communications Commission has a program to help ensure universal access to broadband service in rural, remote, and other areas of the country that are costly to serve. The program provides billions of dollars to telecommunications companies each year to deploy broadband services.