Each year, the NDIA (National Digital Inclusion Alliance) looks at the “worst connected cities” in the US. They use Census data to track subscriptions to the Internet. I want to emphasize that they are are tracking adoption not access. Broadband isn’t defined by a speed. I’ve included the questions from the survey here. They ask about mode or type of connection, grouping fiber, DSL and cable as the same type of connection.
The NDIA used the larger Census list of 623 communities to determine the 221 communities of all sizes where more than 30% of households lacked wireline broadband subscriptions. It’s one of the few places where I see adoption rates. We can celebrate the fact that only two cities made the worst 221 list.
If I lived in these cities and wanted to improve, I might compare the adoption to access. If access isn’t problem it’s likely cost versus perceived value. One way to do that might be going back to the Census data to see how many people have a computer. Or if you can track interaction with any online interactions with the city – that might help determine whether access to a computer is an issue and/or skills to use it.
Here’s the list of MN cities- you can get more stats on the NDIA site; you can filter by state to narrow down to Minnesota.