Speed Matters released their annual speed reports yesterday. The have one big ol’ report that details broadband speeds on the national level and then they release state-specific reports. I checked out the Minnesota report; the reports are grim.
Here are the percentages of Minnesota residents in various speed tiers:
- Has more than 25 Mbps – 3%
- Has 10-25 Mbps – 20%
- Has 4-10 Mbps – 24%
- Has 4 Mbps or less – 54%
Sadly while we’re ranked 32nd in terms of speed, 49% of the US comes in with less than 4 Mbps connection – so we’re not all that behind our goals and our goals aren’t that lofty. You may recall that 4 Mbps is the National Broadband Plan “other” speed minimum. The National Broadband Plan goal is “at least 100 million U.S. homes should have affordable access to actual download speeds of at least 100 megabits per second and actual upload speeds of at least 50 megabits per second by 2020″. But after the initial 100 million homes we’re shooting for 4 Mbps.
Now the other fact about the Speed Matters reports is that speed tester self-select into the pool. It only measures the speeds of folks who have actively tested their speed on the Speed Matters site. Self-selected subjects will always skew results of a study. The validity of the Speed Matter’s report came up yesterday at the Minnesota Broadband Advisory Task Force meeting as well. I definitely think there’s a place for using the results – but important to recognize the imperfections.