79% Minnesota households use broadband

Connect Minnesota just released information on their latest residential survey. There’s a one percent increase in broadband adoption since 2012 – but it is harder to reach the people at the farthest edge of the digital divide. It’s nice to see some progress. It does seem that low-income and elderly households remain on that far end of the divide.

Residential Broadband Adoption up by 7 Percentage Points Since 2010

For Immediate Release

April 9, 2014

More than three out of four non-subscribers believe that home access could positively impact their quality of life

ST. Paul, MN – Connect Minnesota today released new data showing that broadband adoption in Minnesota is increasing, with 79% of households now subscribing to broadband service, up from 72% in 2010.* In addition to this growth in home broadband adoption, mobile broadband usage increased by 30 percentage points over the same period.

“We continue to see positive trends in both broadband access and adoption in Minnesota,” said William Hoffman, Connect Minnesota’s program manager. “As more of our educational opportunities, healthcare services, and economy move online, every Minnesota household will need to be connected.”

The data are available via an interactive widget on the Connect Minnesota website.

Among the key findings of the residential survey are:

  • More than 108,000 school-age children in Minnesota do not have broadband access at home.
  • More than 1.1 million working-age adults in Minnesota would need assistance with tasks that are often required by employers, such as creating a spreadsheet, going online from a mobile device, using a word processor, or sending an e-mail.
  • More than three out of four non-adopters in Minnesota say that it would be easier for them to shop, seek out healthcare information, or interact with government offices if they had Internet access at home.
  • Statewide, more than 441,000 households still do not subscribe to home broadband service. For many of these households, the main barrier to home broadband adoption is the belief that broadband is not relevant or beneficial to them.
  • Mobile broadband usage has also grown in Minnesota. More than one-half of Minnesota adults (56%) use mobile broadband service, up from 26% in 2010 when Connect Minnesota began measuring this trend.

This survey is conducted in support of Connect Minnesota’s efforts to close Minnesota’s digital gap and explores the barriers to adoption, rates of broadband adoption among various demographics, and the types of activities broadband subscribers conduct online, among other issues.

While the results show adoption is increasing, there are 441,000 households who do not subscribe to the empowering technology of high-speed Internet. Additionally, as highlighted above, more than 108,000 school-age children in Minnesota do not have broadband access at home To address this digital divide, Connect Minnesota offers the Every Community Online program where it offers free digital literacy training and low-cost computers and Internet access.

Connect Minnesota’s 2013 Residential Technology Assessment was conducted in late 2013 and includes responses from 1,218 residents. The survey was conducted as part of the State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant program, funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and by the American Recovery and Reinvestment of 2009.

This entry was posted in MN, Research by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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