I’m going to come clean here, a friend who works on broadband in emerging nations asked me to talk about last mile access in rural Minnesota. So this post is for him – but useful to lots of folks I think. And if you have a story of where you think the worst broadband is – please feel free to share it in the comments below.
To get a look at the detail of broadband access in Minnesota we have a few tools.
Coverage maps of each county. There are maps that focus on 10 Mbps down and 6 Mbps up (aka 10/6). Maps that looked a served (100/20), underserved (between 25/3 and 100/20) and unserved (less than 25/3). And maps that track maximum download speed – down to speeds of 768 Kbps – 1.5 Mbps. This is the maps I’d use to determine some of the slowest areas.
I used the data from the various maps and charts to create a comparison of counties. That might help you peg the counties with the greatest number or size of gaps. Although the benchmark for the comparison is 25/3. You can see this in map format too. (And pictured at the right.)
There is an interactive map too that in theory provides info down to 4/1 speeds but I wasn’t able to make it work effectively for a area – just for an address.