The 2015 broadband goal for Minnesota is ubiquitous access to speeds of 10-20 Mbps (down) and 5-10 Mbps (up). As the Connect Minnesota map here indicates, almost 90 percent of the households in Minnesota have access to those speeds.
Almost 90 percent is not a bad grade, unfortunately it’s not a consistent grade as you cross the state. The map indicates that as well – but for me sometimes a visual helps but the numbers really make a difference. So today I dug into the numbers.
In November, Connect Minnesota released their final survey results measuring broadband access in Minnesota. They measured access with and without including mobile access. I took the numbers they had and ranked them. (I used percentages with mobile included.)
The difference in percentage served is staggering. Twin Cities (Hennepin and Ramsey Counties) are served at 100 percent. (And just last week the Twin Cities got news about more competition in the ultra-high speed broadband market!)
As a former teacher, I’m always willing to throw out the top and bottom grades – just to budget for anomalies and save arguments. BUT even when we get rid of Hennepin County (at 100 percent) and Aitkin County (at .06 percent), there is still a big discrepancy.
The top 10 rankers have come in at more than 99 percent coverage each. The bottom 10 rankers come in with less than one third of households served. Lyon County has 4.14 percentage covered. Yikes!
From a practical basis – where do you want to buy your next house, move your business or have your kids go to school? Hennepin or Lyon County. (Lots of other factors but broadband matters!)
My hope is to look at each county in the next month or so – to highlight their stats and maybe add a few things I’ve heard about that is happening in each county as related to broadband. I thought that might be helpful to light fires under the people in those areas and the policymakers who represent them.
You can see how your county ranks below…
Percentage Households Served at ≥ 10 Mbps Download/6 Mbps Upload Speeds
|12||Lac qui Parle||99.36|
|69||Lake of the Woods||47.08|
One quick statistics note: These numbers actually reflect 6-10 Mbps up (not 5-10) because Minnesota goals are a little out of sync with standard federal measurements.
My mom lives in Aitkin County and is frustrated by not being able to get anything faster than AT&T MIFI, which is costly and is not very reliable.
MiFi can be a lifesaver. But I can imagine that as a primary connection it gets pretty spendy!
The newly revised FCC definition of broadband includes fixed line speeds with a minimum of 25/3.
Just make sure you include those in your assessment. Also, it would be nice to see how First Nations tribal lands in MN make out as compared to other rural communities.
Brian – good point. Connect MN is doing one more assessment; it sure would be nice to see them ask about the 25/3 standard too. I will look into tribal lands. The feds may have that info – or maybe some of the reservations themselves. I suspect that at least Fond du Lac and Leech Lake have some ideas.