Minnesota broadband is better than Wisconsin broadband

If I were more of a sports ball person I could probably make a lot more of this story. As it stands, I’ll just say it’s interesting to see what your neighbors think of you. The [Appleton] Post Crescent reports…

Minnesotans have more access than Wisconsinites to fast internet that consumers rely on for everything from schoolwork and jobs to shopping and binge-watching Netflix, new census data show.

Access to broadband internet in Wisconsin is also worse for many poor and rural families, as well as racial and ethnic minorities, according to data that the U.S. Census Bureau calls its first-ever look at internet subscription rates over five years.

The paper is part of the USA Today network. They came up with five findings after looking at state level broadband data…

  1. Wisconsin slightly behind Minnesota, Illinois
    About 78 percent of Wisconsin households had a broadband internet subscription from 2013 to 2017, mirroring the national rate over the period but trailing states to the northwest and south. Minnesota had the highest rate of neighboring states at 80.8 percent.
  2. Minnesota children had more access
    Most children in Wisconsin had access to fast internet in their homes and they had access at higher rates than kids in Illinois, Michigan and the nation overall. But compared with Minnesota’s 90.6 percent, Wisconsin was slightly behind at 87.7 percent.
  1. Fewer subscribers in low-income households
    Why is broadband internet more common in Minnesota than Wisconsin? One factor may be income. Like other Midwest states and the nation overall, access to high-speed internet in Wisconsin varies greatly by household wealth.
    About 93 percent of Wisconsin households with at least $75,000 in annual income had access to broadband from 2013 to 2017. But only half of those households with less than $20,000 in annual income had access.
  1. Fewer subscribers in northern Wisconsin
    Waukesha, Dane, Ozaukee and Calumet counties had the highest rates for households with broadband internet. Mostly northern counties — such as Forest, Clark and Menominee — were at the other end of the spectrum in the state. More than one-third of the homes in those three counties were without broadband.
  1. Fewer African American subscribers
    The racial inequities for fast internet in Wisconsin are larger than in most of the state’s neighbors and the nation overall. While 84 percent of white residents in Wisconsin had access to broadband, just 68 percent of black residents had access. The rates varied for Asian, Latino and Native American residents, too.
This entry was posted in MN, Research by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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