How many Minnesotans lack broadband? Maybe 409K, maybe 3M

Last month, I wrote about the discrepancies between FCC and Microsoft broadband mapping. The FCC tracks access based on info from providers. Microsoft looks at internet speeds of people using the company’s software and services, like Office software, Windows updates, Bing searches and maps, and Xbox game play.

Just this week, Microsoft made their interactive maps available to the public. They enable users to drill down to data at the county and congressional district levels. Each map allows a user to hover over an area to reveal granular broadband availability data and compare the FCC’s Form 477 data on broadband availability to Microsoft’s data measuring where Americans are using broadband at 25 Mbps speed.

Below is a screenshot but as you can see the FCC map indicates that broadband is not available to 409,000 people where the Microsoft maps says 3 million do no use broadband. The FCC maps defines broadband as 25 Mbps up and 3 Mbps down. The Microsoft maps only mention download speed of 25 Mbps.

This entry was posted in Digital Divide, MN, Research by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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