The Center for Rural Policy and Development looks at the need for broadband in the time of pandemic and the difference in rural, town and urban broadband connections…
In rural areas, having a subscription to an internet service doesn’t equal a quality connection. Counties outside of the seven-county metro have a noticeably lower percentage of households with access to broadband or, in some cases, any internet at all. Figure 1 provides the average percentage of households by internet connection type by county group. The more rural a county is, the more likely it is to have a significantly lower percentage of households with an internet subscription. In fact, Minnesota’s most rural counties can have a percentage of households with an internet subscription that is 10 to 20 percentage points less than entirely urban areas.
The percentage of households who are subscribed to a broadband service decreases significantly as a county becomes more rural. In addition, the percentage of households relying on their cell phone data plan or dial-up connection increases with rural-ness. Data: U.S. Census Bureau, ACS 5-year (2013-2017).
What I find fascinating is the perentage (low as it is) of dial-up connectivity!
The article goes on to detail good works by local and national providers in improving access in Minnesota – a fleshed out version of what I’ve been tracking on the blog too – super helpful if you want to know exactly what folks are offering.