A few of the latest Minnesota Broadband Maps were shared at the last Minnesota Broadband Task Force. At the highest level they indicate that 86.46 percent of Minnesota households have access to wireline broadband at speeds of at least 10 Mbps download and 5 Mbps up based on surveys current as of February 28, 2015. It shows an increase from 78.16% on October 1, 2014. That’s an increase of 8 percentage points. That seems significant to me.
Added 7/21: there is a map on the DEED/OBD website now that shows the results from February 28, 2015 for 10/5 wireline only service at 86.46% to the comparable map for 10/5 wireline only service from October 29, 2014 found at page 16 of the 2014 TF annual report which shows 86.53% availability.
It’s probably too early to detect the impact of the Minnesota Broadband Funds – but maybe not too late to detect the impact of raised awareness or communities preparing for the grant application last summer. And of course there’s the impact of continued support from the Blandin Foundation.
Or maybe the providers have been more diligent about separating out the numbers needed for Minnesota (10/5) and those that were needed for the feds (10/6). I know some providers allowed that in past surveys they have gone with the federal numbers – mostly I assume because they are so close, but it makes a difference. And that difference is felt when people are looking at the numbers so closely.
The FCC changed their definition of broadband back in January. It is now 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. So the Office of Broadband is working with that definition too. You can see the stark difference in coverage in the map below. The pink areas are unserved with no wireline broadband of at least 25M/3M. (This difference is “unserved” is important for any community looking at applying for a Minnesota Broadband Fund Grant.)