The FCC recently released the Industry Analysis and Technology Division Wireline Competition Bureau. It’s the culmination of FCC Form 477 filled out by providers.
I think there’s an interesting look at speeds by technology and location (metro vs rural) of technology. First location – the following graph tracks ratio of subscribership by household density, or who serves urban areas and who serves rural areas. The answer is DSL is a big player in rural areas; cable is the biggest player in towns and cities. Fixed wireless and satellite are players in rural areas and almost non-existent in urban areas. This graph does not track speed – just technology.
Now it’s helpful to look at what speeds. When we look at access by speeds or 10/1 we see representation of all technologies.
When we look at speeds of 25/3, DSL is no longer represented.
Here’s another way to look at it:
DSL has a larger share of slower connections. DSL has a larger share of rural connections. The Minnesota legislature has defined speed goals or 25/3 by 2022 and 100/20 by 2026. They have dedicated funds to making it happen through the border to border grants. So there’s a recognized need for support, but the question is how to increase speeds in rural areas.
Do tools used in urban areas help rural connectivity? Do policy makers understand that there’s a significant difference in the two markets based on population density, distance to customers, limitations of transport technology and regulations and expectations of technologies based urban scenarios.
Right now Minnesota connectivity rates are well below the legislative goals (and the report only indicates download speeds):
- 200 kbps – 99.5 percent connect
- 3 Mbps – 93.0 percent connect
- 10 Mbps – 75.2 percent connect
- 25 Mbps – 54.2 percent connect
- 100 Mbps – 13.4 percent connect