New MN broadband map are out; see which counties rank highest?

The Office of Broadband Development has posted new maps and stats on broadband access on their site. You can download an Excel spreadsheet with the info from the site. (Want a comparison? I tracked the same info last September when the maps and data came out.)

Here are the top ranking counties for access to 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up (25/3):

  • 1              Red Lake              99.99
  • 2              Rock      99.93
  • 3              Ramsey 99.74
  • 4              Clearwater          99.58
  • 5              Beltrami               99.38
  • 6              Stevens 99.22
  • 7              Lac qui Parle       99.14
  • 8              Swift      98.88
  • 9              Hennepin            98.86
  • 10           Dakota  97.48

And bottom ranking:

  • 78           Traverse              44.68
  • 79           Todd      44.22
  • 80           Fillmore                43.76
  • 81           Redwood            41.80
  • 82           Pine       39.70
  • 83           Norman               37.67
  • 84           Kanabec               34.48
  • 85           Marshall               33.49
  • 86           Aitkin    28.01
  • 87           Yellow Medicine               20.58

And here’s the full table, looking at access by speed and rank based on 25/3 stats: (Hard to format on the blog – you can also access as a spreadsheet):

Rank at 25/3 goal County Name Percent Broadband (1Gbps/1Gbps) Percent Wireline Broadband (25Mbps/3Mbps) Percent Wireline Broadband (100Mbps/20Mbps)
1 Red Lake 48.01 99.99 83.00
2 Rock 0.00 99.93 99.93
3 Ramsey 16.79 99.74 99.33
4 Clearwater 89.30 99.58 89.30
5 Beltrami 82.25 99.38 95.87
6 Stevens 6.74 99.22 96.74
7 Lac qui Parle 0.00 99.14 99.14
8 Swift 0.00 98.88 53.63
9 Hennepin 29.29 98.86 98.31
10 Dakota 15.48 97.48 64.10
11 Big Stone 0.00 97.44 97.44
12 Anoka 9.38 97.30 95.55
13 Brown 0.00 96.28 72.55
14 Washington 5.79 95.99 94.33
15 Cook 0.00 94.50 94.50
16 Lake 94.12 94.30 94.30
17 Scott 4.80 93.77 87.27
18 Olmsted 3.69 93.27 33.20
19 Pennington 11.48 91.78 90.75
20 Polk 34.15 91.74 84.88
21 Wadena 47.43 88.66 47.43
22 Carver 0.36 88.28 80.64
23 Crow Wing 35.33 87.76 39.69
24 Clay 36.37 87.49 82.17
25 Rice 0.00 87.37 29.81
26 Hubbard 45.99 87.36 46.37
27 Benton 0.00 86.99 13.29
28 Steele 0.00 86.42 49.54
29 Winona 80.70 85.71 81.83
30 Wright 14.34 85.62 29.75
31 Sherburne 0.17 84.55 28.17
32 Nicollet 1.79 83.42 32.06
33 Stearns 4.66 83.20 37.61
34 McLeod 0.00 83.10 58.03
35 Freeborn 9.49 82.99 34.54
36 St. Louis 5.87 82.33 38.44
37 Wilkin 72.21 80.84 80.84
38 Pipestone 12.47 79.73 79.73
39 Itasca 55.68 78.73 76.30
40 Mower 0.00 78.39 23.79
41 Faribault 0.09 77.71 41.05
42 Blue Earth 0.00 77.51 16.70
43 Goodhue 50.42 76.74 55.43
44 Douglas 28.52 76.33 28.60
45 Nobles 0.00 76.19 72.31
46 Grant 39.89 75.73 39.93
47 Kandiyohi 0.00 75.34 8.05
48 Waseca 0.00 73.30 73.07
49 Mahnomen 8.60 72.42 13.01
50 Dodge 40.45 72.24 69.54
51 Lyon 4.14 71.91 65.49
52 Chippewa 0.00 71.77 24.80
53 Houston 33.34 71.28 66.63
54 Le Sueur 0.00 71.16 68.67
55 Wabasha 59.56 70.45 61.59
56 Becker 5.78 69.52 6.66
57 Morrison 32.89 69.24 40.93
58 Cass 26.74 68.94 34.02
59 Jackson 0.00 68.79 68.79
60 Koochiching 7.50 68.56 68.55
61 Watonwan 0.00 65.76 64.80
62 Kittson 3.46 65.62 3.46
63 Chisago 0.00 65.15 62.32
64 Cottonwood 0.00 62.03 19.12
65 Roseau 0.00 61.85 49.69
66 Carlton 0.00 61.27 52.52
67 Pope 10.15 60.54 23.66
68 Martin 0.00 55.64 54.06
69 Otter Tail 1.25 55.43 2.07
70 Isanti 0.02 54.33 49.28
71 Sibley 31.97 53.60 53.15
72 Lincoln 0.11 53.44 39.21
73 Renville 0.00 53.10 49.94
74 Murray 1.88 50.90 50.76
75 Meeker 0.00 49.50 37.75
76 Lake of the Woods 0.00 48.08 48.08
77 Mille Lacs 0.00 47.57 47.07
78 Traverse 4.08 44.68 44.68
79 Todd 2.84 44.22 2.86
80 Fillmore 6.70 43.76 42.81
81 Redwood 0.00 41.80 33.54
82 Pine 0.00 39.70 36.95
83 Norman 20.52 37.67 20.52
84 Kanabec 0.00 34.48 26.59
85 Marshall 5.97 33.49 28.10
86 Aitkin 2.66 28.01 14.17
87 Yellow Medicine 0.00 20.58 19.44

New MN broadband stats are out; almost 70% have access to 100/20

The Office of Broadband Development has posted new maps and stats on broadband access on their site. Here’s the high level take:

What does that mean as far as Minnesota State Broadband Goals?

  • We are 87.94 percent of the way there in terms of the 2022 goal – access to everyone at speeds of 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up (25/3).
  • We are 69.86 percent of the way there in terms of the 2026 goal – access to everyone at speeds of 100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up (100/20).

Rural areas do lag behind the urban/suburban counterpoints.

  • We are 73.06 percent of the way there in terms of the 2022 goal – access to everyone at speeds of 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up (25/3).
  • We are 52.46 percent of the way there in terms of the 2026 goal – access to everyone at speeds of 100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up (100/20).

The percentages are  little better when you look at rates that include fixed wireless and/or mobile access.

Coming up next – a look at access by county…

Understanding digital preparedness – 52% of Americans are digitally hesitant

Pew just released a recent report on Digital Readiness Gaps. Mostly I talk about access to technology; this report looks as interest and readiness to use technology. They look at specific factors…

Specifically, we assess American adults according to five main factors: their confidence in using computers, their facility with getting new technology to work, their use of digital tools for learning, their ability to determine the trustworthiness of online information, and their familiarity with contemporary “education tech” terms. It is important to note that the findings here just cover people’s learning activities in digital spaces and do not address the full range of important things that people can do online or their “readiness” to perform them.

And have five categories of readiness – more than half indicate hesitant technology users…

My grandpa used to always say about learning anything – first you gotta wanna. I saw this in the App Camp on the Fond du Lac reservation. Kids came to camp for two weeks to learn how to create apps using an iPad. How did they get kids to come into a classroom over the summer? The earned the iPads they used in class if they stayed in the program.

Now that’s not going to work for everyone – but it does get to the point that it’s not enough to create digital inclusion curriculum, we need to sell the idea of technology to get people invested. In Kentucky, economic developers worked with coal miners to learn to build websites – the reward – a job. I’ve done digital inclusion training – I know that older folks will often get invested to stay in contact with grandkids. Everyone has some reward worth getting over the tech hump! It’s just a matter of finding it.

FCC reports – fixed broadband deployment and CAF eligible areas

The FCC just released data based on their 477 forms. Here’s info on the forms (or form fillers) from the FCC…

  • All facilities-based broadband providers are required to file data with the FCC twice a year (Form 477) on where they offer Internet access service at speeds exceeding 200 kbps in at least one direction. 
  • Fixed providers file lists of census blocks in which they can or do offer service to at least one location, with additional information about the service.*
  • Mobile providers file maps of their coverage areas for each broadband technology (e.g., EV-DO, HSPA, LTE).  See Mobile Deployment Data.

They released a list of census blocks eligible for Connect America Phase II support in states where price cap carriers accepted the statewide offers of model-based Connect America Phase II support. It’s a spreadsheet of eligible census tracts by state. It would be valuable if you had questions on a specific census tract or were able to visualize the tracts. It shows the high cost (HC) and extremely high cost (EHC) areas as well as the providers.

The FCC also released updated data on fixed broadband deployment as of June 30, 2016. You can download that dataset by state – and the data includes advertised speeds up and down. Here’s an important caveat from the site…

A provider that reports deployment of a particular technology and bandwidth in a census block may not necessarily offer that service everywhere in the block.  Accordingly, a list of providers deployed in a census block does not necessarily reflect the number of choices available to any particular household or business location in that block, and the number of such providers in the census block does not purport to measure competition.

Minnesota Broadband speeds rank 31, 27, 26, 28 – depending

The latest Akamai report are out for First quarter 2017. Here’s the news as far as Minnesota goes:

  • MN ranks 31 for percent of adoption at speeds above 10 Mbps with 63 percent
  • MN ranks 27 for percent of adoption at speeds above 15 Mbps with 44 percent
  • MN ranks 26 for percent of adoption at speeds above 25 Mbps with 18 percent
  • MN ranks 26 for average adoption speed at 17.6 Mbps
  • MN ranks 28 for peak adoption speed at 80.8 Mbps

We’re middle of the pack – looking at US states. The US is #10 for average connection speed. (The US doesn’t rank in many other categories.)

The state goals are 25 Mbps down and 3 up by 2022 and 100 Mbps down and 20 up by 2026. We’re not there yet. But the report notes that we are taking strides to make it happen…

Minnesota also announced $34 million in grant funding for 42 broadband projects targeted at providing affordable high-speed Internet to households and businesses in non-urban settings.

Akamai has included a “what’s happened” over 10 years look at past reports. It’s interesting to see the impact broadband has on the world and the world has on broadband…

• July 2008: Apple launches the iPhone App Store, which ultimately set the stage for mobile phones to supplant personal computers as primary Internet access devices.
• December 2009: TeliaSonera makes the first lte service available in Oslo, Norway and Stockholm, Sweden.
• July 2010: The number of Internet users crossed two billion for the first time, per estimates from Internet Live Stats.
• January 2011: In response to civil unrest, the Egyptian government moves to shut down almost all of the country’s access to the global Internet.
• June 2012: Network service providers, content providers, and Internet infrastructure companies participate in the World IPv6 Launch event, with a goal of making IPv6 “the new normal.”
• April 2013: Google announces that its Google Fiber initiative would be expanding beyond Kansas City, Kansas to Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah.
• September 2014: A vulnerability in the widely-used Unix Bash shell, known as “Shellshock,” allows attackers to gain unauthorized access to computer systems, resulting in the creation of botnets that launch distributed denial-of-service attacks and perform vulnerability scanning.
• June 2015: The United States Federal Communication Commission’s Open Internet rules take effect, intended to “protect and maintain open, uninhibited access to legal online content without broadband Internet access providers being allowed to block, impair, or establish fast/slow lanes to lawful content.”
• September/October 2016: The Mirai botnet, comprised largely of compromised Internet of Things devices, such as ip-connected cameras and home routers, launches record-breaking distributed denial of service attacks against the Krebs on Security website and dns infrastructure provider Dyn.

Continue reading

How much is a broadband network? The Feds have some help with that

BroadbandUSA recently released a tool that outlines costs of fiber and wireless networks. Here’s a description of the tool (including the graphic)…

The graphic below depicts four of the most common types of network deployments: Buried Fiber Deployment, Coaxial Cable Deployment, Aerial Fiber Deployment, and Microwave Deployment. Costs associated with these four types of networks are outlined in the tables below and are color-coded to match the graphic. Please note that network costs can have significant variance, even greater than the cost ranges shown. The costs included in this tool are not comprehensive and each network’s expenses will vary based on a number of factors, including community needs, geography and network deployment type.

There’s a lot of room for greater variance even shown above but at least it’s someplace to start and it’s helpful, if you’re not a network builder, to even see the components of what’s involved. Although what’s not involved is ongoing costs.

Affordable, uncapped Internet means uncapped potential

Mobile Beacon provides affordable mobile broadband to anchor institutions (schools, libraries, healthcare facilities, nonprofits). They also provide affordable mobile broadband to low income households. They have a Minnesota connection – they have been working with PCs for People. Clients come to PCs for People for affordable refurbished computers and now they can also get low cost subscriptions to Mobile Beacon through a program they jointly call Bridging the Gap. They pay $10-13 per month for uncapped access to 4G LTE.

Mobile Beacon just released a report on the impact of affordable access has on the recipients – or What Affordable, Uncapped Internet Means to Digital Inclusion. Here are the highlights from the report – taking from their key findings.

  • 73% of respondents stated that Bridging the Gap provided their first home internet service.
  • 94% reported they now use the internet daily (with 82% reporting to use it for several hours a day).
  • While only 17% of respondents owned a computer prior to enrolling in Bridging the Gap, 39% obtained a computer at some point during their enrollment.
  • 94% of households whose previous internet service was subject to data caps had access to 8 GB or less of data per month (68% had access to 5 GB or less and 30% had access to 2 GB or less of data per month).
  • 60% of respondents whose previous internet service was subject to a data cap reported difficulty using the service for online classes or homework.
  • 22% said there were online educational activities they were unable to do prior to enrolling in Bridging the Gap due to data caps on their previous service.
  • 94% of parents said having Mobile Beacon’s internet service has helped them better support their child(ren) academically.
  • 54% of parents reported their children spend more than 4 hours per week doing homework online.
  • 95% of all respondents with school-age students reported they can now communicate with their child’s teachers more often since enrolling in Bridging the Gap.
  • Nearly one-third (32%) of respondents reported that an adult in their household is currently taking a continuing education class or attending college.
  • 24% said they started taking daily or weekly online classes after signing up for Mobile Beacon’s internet service through Bridging the Gap.
  • Those reporting to take online classes use a whopping 19 GB more per month on average than those who do not.
  • The median cost-savings for the national Bridging the Gap subscriber base is $110,646 each month, or $1,327,752 every year!

I’m also including a couple of graphics that hit me – probably because I have three daughters. I can’t imagine dealing with education without broadband. It was fun when they were little to have them ask “what’s a tornado” and find a video. It’s not “fun” – it’s imperative to have access when they want to do homework. It’s imperative to have access when applying for colleges, financial aid or visa for kid going to college in Canada. It’s imperative to have access when someone asks me to help with any math after 9th grade. It’s imperative to have access to set them up for success! I can’t imagine staying on this side of any gap much less closing a gap without broadband.