Thanks to CTC (Consolidated Telephone Company) for sharing the impact study from their MN Border to Border grant for Fairview and Fort Ripley Townships. (The study was supported by a grant to Region 5 from the Blandin Foundation and matched by CTC.)
They surveyed new customers connected through funds from the Minnesota Border to Border State grants to check in on the impact of the new connection. Here’s what they found…
Top Ten Key Findings of the Survey
- Customer service and reliability of connection are more important than pricing of services.
- Almost half of respondents own four or more personal computing devices; and 70% responded that they own two smart phones.
- Customers may need increased bandwidth to support their internet usage.
- Less than 2% of older adults surveyed do not use the internet.
- The older adult population surveyed is far more connected than the older adult population nationally.
- The internet plays a critical role in enabling customers to work where they live with more than half of households using their home internet for work; and 14% reporting that they “telework.”
- Over 20% of customers have a home-based business or farm with 36% reporting that the internet reduced their overall operating costs.
- Almost 9% of customers have plans to start a home-based business in the next 1-3 years.
- Nearly a third (30%) of customers are utilizing their home internet connection for health care services or to interact with health care providers with 25% indicating they would use telehealth services if it were an option.
- Two-thirds of customers stated that the internet is very important for their family with almost 40% saying that they could not live in home without a reliable high-speed internet connection.