Roberto Gallardo just released info on broadband adoption in rural, urban and suburban areas. There are lots of caveats to the research – it’s from 2015-2016, based on geographic definitions from 2010 and adoption means accessing broadband at speeds of 10 Mbps down and a1 Mbps up. BUT those are the best numbers out there right now.
So first the good news – adoption rates are improving…
In 2016, 15.4 percent or 48.9 million people lived in low adoption neighborhoods, down from almost one-fifth in 2015. So, yes an improvement.
Then the bad news – that improvement has not been evenly distributed. I think his chart makes this info most accessible. He shows levels of low adoption in rural, urban and suburban areas. As you can see below, low adoption decreased in urban and suburban areas but increased in rural areas.
Here’s where having that lower speed definition of broadband helps focus the attention on adoption. According to the Office of Broadband Development 94+ percent of Minnesota households have access to 10/1 speeds. That hasn’t decreased. Access isn’t an issue. The issue is helping people realize the value of broadband. Helping them learn how to use it.