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Poor, less white US neighborhoods get worst internet deals

Pamela Jackson-Walters stands outside her home in Detroit, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. Jackson-Walters uses her home internet connection to attend church services virtually and to pursue a graduate degree, but the service AT&T offers in her mostly Black neighborhood is much slower than in other parts of the city. She said she also experienced an internet outage for four weeks during the summer.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/AP
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AP
Pamela Jackson-Walters stands outside her home in Detroit, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. Jackson-Walters uses her home internet connection to attend church services virtually and to pursue a graduate degree, but the service AT&T offers in her mostly Black neighborhood is much slower than in other parts of the city. She said she also experienced an internet outage for four weeks during the summer.(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

(The Associated Press) —Having a fast internet connection at home has become a near-requirement for many Americans, especially with the rise of remote education and working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But an investigation by The Markup has found that internet service providers often offer drastically different speeds to different customers, even when those customers live in different parts of the same city.

In many cases, the poorest and least white parts of a city only are offered service that’s so slow it doesn’t meet federal regulators’ definition of broadband — and providers regularly charge the same amount for that service as they do for their fastest speeds in other neighborhoods.