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More than 98% of Americans have access to mobile broadband

Staff writer |
More than 98 percent of Americans now have access to high-speed wireless Internet, the White House announced.

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"Today, based on newly released data from the U.S. Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), we are announcing that through significant private investment we have reached that goal - nearly two years ahead of schedule," the White House said in a statement.

Policies that have helped drive progress toward this milestone included initiating "the most successful mobile spectrum auction in American history," which raised more than $41 billion in funds, and spending 7 billion dollars from President Barack Obama's 2009 stimulus package to increase broadband connectivity, especially in rural and underserved areas.

These efforts have installed or upgraded over 174,000 miles (280,000 kms) of high-speed broadband infrastructure, the White House said.

Obama signed a presidential memorandum to create a new council singularly focused on increasing broadband investment and adoption.

The so-called Broadband Opportunity Council, co-chaired by the Secretaries of Commerce and Agriculture, will "identify regulatory barriers unduly impeding broadband deployment or competition" and report back to the president within 150 days with specific advice.

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