The ARRA broadband programs weren't aimed specifically at small businesses, but they have benefitted, the GAO report said. Agency investigators interviewed 27 small-business representatives in communities with government-funded broadband projects, and 20 of them reported higher speeds, the report said.
Eighteen of the 27 small businesses reported more reliable broadband service since the government funded networks were deployed, with many government-funded projects using fiber optic infrastructure. "These small businesses said they experience less network downtime and no significant slowdowns in speed at points in the day when usage increased," the report said.
In northwest Minnesota, a broadband provider used funds from the Rural Utilities Service to replace copper with fiber optic lines and increase download speeds from about 1Mbps to 30Mbps, the GAO said.
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