The tool doesn't yet have a category for net neutrality, a hot-button state-level issue after the FCC repealed federal net neutrality rules in 2017. But you can find some related laws in categories like "competition and regulation" and "infrastructure access."Each entry provides a summary of relevant policy as well as links to find the full text. "We wanted to make it accessible to everyone from a legislative staffer to your Aunt Betty who's running a community broadband effort on an island in Maine," says Kathryn de Wit, a manager at the Pew Charitable Trusts.Pew's State Broadband Policy Explorer isn't the only tool that lets you find state broadband policy. The National Regulatory Research Institute tracks state-level net neutrality laws and proposals, and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance hosts a state-by-state guide to municipal broadband policy. But the goal of Pew’s State Broadband Policy Explorer is to provide a one-stop shop for state-level broadband research.The tool grew out of Pew’s Broadband Research Initiative, which researches policy issues like the economic impact of broadband access and expanding broadband in rural and low-income communities. "We realized as we were doing the research to get an idea of what policy looks like across the country that there really wasn't any other kind of tool that gets everything about broadband policy in one place," de Wit says.
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Moreover, the majority of those gaining access to such high-speed connections, approximately 5.6 million, live in rural America, where broadband deployment has traditionally lagged." Pai's press release also says that private Internet providers have "responded to FCC reforms by deploying fiber to 5.9 million new homes in 2018, the largest number ever recorded." However, much of that may have come from a multi-year fiber deployment that AT&T began during the Obama administration.