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San Antonio is the in the bottom 10 of U.S. metros when it comes to broadband Internet access 

click to enlarge Bexar County has sought to improve internet access for San Antonio-area residents via its BiblioTech all-digital libraries. - FACEBOOK / BEXAR BIBLIOTECH
  • Facebook / Bexar BiblioTech
  • Bexar County has sought to improve internet access for San Antonio-area residents via its BiblioTech all-digital libraries.
With 29.8% of its households lacking a high-speed Internet connection, the San Antonio-New Braunfels area is the 8th-worst large U.S. metro for broadband availability, according to a new study.

That number is higher than the 29.2% of households at the national level lacking broadband, according to cord-cutting website's analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Pew Research Center. Nearly 11% of San Antonio-New Braunfels households have no internet access at all.

The study hits the streets after Congress last month passed the Biden administration's long-awaited $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which includes $65 billion to improve broadband access and affordability. About $100 million of that broadband funding is destined for Texas, according to a White House estimate.

San Antonio and Bexar County have launched efforts such as the BiblioTech digital libraries to narrow its digital divide, the margin of people who don't have high-speed internet access. That divide disproportionately affects low-income individuals and people of color, according to Pew Research data.

According to Pew, 92% of adults making more than $75,000 annually had access to high-speed internet in 2021, compared to just 57% of those earning less than $30,000 annually. When it comes to race, 80% of white adults have broadband access, compared to 71% of Black adults and 65% of Hispanic adults.

The study's rankings appear to bear out the link between broadband and income. All 15 of the worst metros for access, including bottom-ranked Birmingham, Alabama, had poverty rates of around 10% or higher. San Antonio's is 13.5%, according to the data.

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January 26, 2022

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