Is the internet breaking? MLab shows counties with slow down – including Minnesota

I have seen articles saying that Internet is built to withstand the increased quarantine traffic and some that say, we’ll do OK and now one that says some areas are slowing down. The Guardian reports

The Covid-19 crisis is exposing how the cracks in the US’s creaking digital infrastructure are potentially putting lives at risk, exclusive research shows.

With most of the country on lockdown and millions relying on the internet for work, healthcare, education and shopping, research by M-Lab, an open source project which monitors global internet performance, showed that internet service slowed across the country after the lockdowns.

Here’s what that looks like in the US..

And a close up on MN (blue is better than 3 Mbps upload)…


Minnesota doesn’t look too bad – unless of course you live in an orange area. And we are talking speeds of 25 Mbps down and 3 up, which may not be sufficient at a time when we are all working, learning and staying healthy (both via telemedicine and Netflix) online!

The FCC recognizes the problem but perhaps not the severity…

The FCC said more than 21.3 million people don’t have any internet access, though many experts think this is an undercount because the FCC’s reporting system is flawed. Broadband Now, a company which helps people find ISPs, said in a February report the number is close to 42 million. Microsoft researchers have pinned the number without access at 163 million Americans.


This entry was posted in Digital Divide, MN, Research and tagged 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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