Recent News // News Release: Connect Minnesota Releases New Broadband Availability Figures
Research indicates continued progress toward achieving state speed-tier goals
St. Paul, MN – New research unveiled today by Connect Minnesota shows that 69.19% of Minnesota households have access to broadband at a minimum of 10 Mbps download/6 Mbps upload. Last October, the data showed that 61.57% of the households had access across the state at these speeds. This is the seventh comprehensive broadband availability data release from Connect Minnesota since the State Broadband Initiative started in 2009.
“We are glad to see these numbers move in the right direction,” said Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman. “Hopefully with this research, the development of broadband stays on pace to meet Minnesota’s goals and needs.”
Among the findings of the new broadband availability research are:
- 69.19% of Minnesota households can access fixed broadband at speeds of at least 10 Mbps download/6 Mbps upload – the minimum speed threshold for Minnesota’s goal of ubiquitous broadband availability* (mobile and satellite services do not meet the speed criteria).
- 87% of Minnesota households can access broadband at speeds of at least 10 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload (excludes mobile and satellite services); when including mobile, the percentage increases to 97.28% availability at this speed tier.
- Broadband at higher download speeds is now available to more households; since last October, 50 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload was up 10% to 78.91% and 100 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload was up 8% to 76.0% (excludes mobile and satellite services).
- Broadband at the basic 768 Kbps download/200 Kbps upload tier is available to 98.53% of Minnesota households, up from 97.99% last October (excludes mobile and satellite services) – 99.93% with mobile service included.
- 95.80% of Minnesota households can access fixed broadband at speeds of at least 3 Mbps download/768 Kbps upload – the speed threshold used by the FCC in making Connect America Fund determinations; if mobile is included, 99.67% of households have access at this speed tier.
A unique aspect in assessing broadband availability in Minnesota is the state statutory speed goal that provides, in part: “Universal access and high speed deployment as soon as possible, but no later than 2015 all state residents and businesses have access to broadband service that provides a minimum download speed of ten to twenty megabits per second and minimum upload speed of five to ten megabits per second.” Connect Minnesota data indicates that nearly 70% of households have access to that level, leaving approximately 30% of households to serve in order to achieve the goal by 2015.
“Minnesota continues to make progress toward expanding broadband availability and achieving our state speed goals,” said William Hoffman, state program manager for Connect Minnesota. “As providers, the state, and stakeholders work to expand broadband access, adoption, and use in Minnesota, we will continue to see the economic and social benefits across our state.”
Last year, Connect Minnesota released an innovative new broadband mapping tool called My ConnectViewTM offering unmatched views of Minnesota’s technology landscape. Residents and businesses are encouraged to use the interactive map to find area providers and help validate the data. To report that broadband is not available in a given area, consumers can fill out a broadband inquiry.
Nonprofit Connect Minnesota has been working since 2008 to ensure that Minnesota residents have access to the economic, educational, and quality of life benefits derived from increased broadband access, adoption, and use. Part of that work includes maintaining detailed analysis of broadband availability across the state to support broadband planning efforts. Maps and tables of availability are available to view on the state and county level located on the Connect Minnesota website.
Connect Minnesota’s research was conducted as part of the State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant program for Minnesota, funded by the NTIA. The data were gathered in accordance with the requirements of the NTIA. The process begins by contacting all known providers in the state and providing information about the broadband mapping project. Information on broadband service areas is collected from each provider through voluntary participation and is subject to confidentiality protections. Connected Nation strives to maintain a flexible mapping process to be able to collect data from providers in a variety of formats based on providers’ technical capabilities and resources.
*Minnesota Statute 237.012 indicates upload goal of 5 Mbps. Data collection only conforms with speed tiers as represented in the SBI NOFA where 6 Mbps is the most comparable upload speed tier.
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About Connect Minnesota: As a public-private partnership, Connect Minnesota partners with technology-minded businesses, government entities and universities to accelerate technology in the Minnesota. The work of Connect Minnesota is made possible by support from the Minnesota Department of Commerce. For more information about what Connect Minnesota is doing to accelerate technology in Minnesota’s communities, visit www.connectmn.org.