Home buyers will pay 7 percent more for a home with Gigabit service

Corning reports

Today, home buyers are shopping for more than just curb appeal. They’re looking for a quality internet connection. When you’re in the business of attracting new residents and keeping existing ones satisfied, you can’t deny that the value of reliable broadband connectivity at home is real.

Did you know …

  • High-speed broadband can increase the value of your home by 3.1%

  • Homes with Gigabit broadband sell for about 7.1 % more than similar homes with slower connections

Average American Family Can Save $10,500 Per Year by Using Broadband for Comparison Shopping and Online-Only Deals

The Internet Innovation Alliance says a household can save $10,500 a year! 

The Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) finds that the average American household can save $10,539.09 per year on household spending through use of high-speed internet services, according to the organization’s latest Cost Campaign analysis. Before factoring in the average annual cost of a mobile data plan and a home broadband connection ($1,575), the yearly savings add up to $12,114.09. The financial analysis, “10 Ways Being Online Saves You Money,” was authored by Nicholas J. Delgado, certified financial planner and principal of Chicago-based investment bank Dignitas, in partnership with IIA

These numbers are always fun to have. I must admit when I looked at community ROI of public investment in broadband, I went with numbers that were much more conservative; we looked at an annual economic benefit of $1850 per household with broadband – because these numbers seem a little urban-focused.

I know the text won’t transfer well so I’ll post the picture (and table below) so you can get the content in the best way for you…

Top 10: Potential Internet-Enabled Savings on an Annual Basis Continue reading

A map of areas in MN without Internet access

NDIA has created maps from the latest Census data…

The interactive maps below are based on new Census data released on December 6, 2018 as part of the 2017 American Community Survey (ACS) 5-Year Estimates.

For the first time, the 2017 ACS includes computer ownership and internet access information for local Census tracts. (Note: The Census uses the term “internet access” to refer to actual household connections, not just availability.) This information, presented in ACS Tables B28002 through B28011, was previously released only for communities of 20,000 or more and only on a community-wide basis. (NDIA’s Worst Connected Cities reports are based on this ACS citywide data.)

I was most interested in the map that shows where we lack access…

But the map of access is important too…

Both maps are interactive if you visit the NDIA site.

Minnesota broadband is better than Wisconsin broadband

If I were more of a sports ball person I could probably make a lot more of this story. As it stands, I’ll just say it’s interesting to see what your neighbors think of you. The [Appleton] Post Crescent reports…

Minnesotans have more access than Wisconsinites to fast internet that consumers rely on for everything from schoolwork and jobs to shopping and binge-watching Netflix, new census data show.

Access to broadband internet in Wisconsin is also worse for many poor and rural families, as well as racial and ethnic minorities, according to data that the U.S. Census Bureau calls its first-ever look at internet subscription rates over five years.

The paper is part of the USA Today network. They came up with five findings after looking at state level broadband data…

  1. Wisconsin slightly behind Minnesota, Illinois
    About 78 percent of Wisconsin households had a broadband internet subscription from 2013 to 2017, mirroring the national rate over the period but trailing states to the northwest and south. Minnesota had the highest rate of neighboring states at 80.8 percent.
  2. Minnesota children had more access
    Most children in Wisconsin had access to fast internet in their homes and they had access at higher rates than kids in Illinois, Michigan and the nation overall. But compared with Minnesota’s 90.6 percent, Wisconsin was slightly behind at 87.7 percent.
  1. Fewer subscribers in low-income households
    Why is broadband internet more common in Minnesota than Wisconsin? One factor may be income. Like other Midwest states and the nation overall, access to high-speed internet in Wisconsin varies greatly by household wealth.
    About 93 percent of Wisconsin households with at least $75,000 in annual income had access to broadband from 2013 to 2017. But only half of those households with less than $20,000 in annual income had access.
  1. Fewer subscribers in northern Wisconsin
    Waukesha, Dane, Ozaukee and Calumet counties had the highest rates for households with broadband internet. Mostly northern counties — such as Forest, Clark and Menominee — were at the other end of the spectrum in the state. More than one-third of the homes in those three counties were without broadband.
  1. Fewer African American subscribers
    The racial inequities for fast internet in Wisconsin are larger than in most of the state’s neighbors and the nation overall. While 84 percent of white residents in Wisconsin had access to broadband, just 68 percent of black residents had access. The rates varied for Asian, Latino and Native American residents, too.

Digital Divide is in the eye of the beholder and apparently the FCC wears rose colored glasses

Microsoft has apparently done a survey of broadband use in the US. Their numbers are very different from the FCC numbers, which are widely used especially in regards to policy making and funding. The New York Times wrote about the research; I’m borrowing from the Benton Foundation summary…

A new study by Microsoft researchers casts a light on the actual use of high-speed internet across the country, and the picture it presents is very different from Federal Communications Commission numbers. Their analysis suggests that the speedy access is much more limited than the FCC data shows. Over all, Microsoft concluded that 162.8 million people do not use the internet at broadband speeds, while the FCC says broadband is not available to 24.7 million Americans. The discrepancy is particularly stark in rural areas.

The issue with the current FCC statistics, experts say, is that they rely on simplistic surveys of internet service providers that inherently overstate coverage. For example, if one business in an area has broadband service, then the entire area is typically considered to have broadband service available. The Microsoft researchers instead looked at the internet speeds of people using the company’s software and services, like Office software, Windows updates, Bing searches and maps, and Xbox game play. The Microsoft data is much more detailed than the official government statistics, said John Kahan, Microsoft’s chief data analytics officer for external affairs. Microsoft plans to release the national comparisons, as well as state and county data in 2018.

I will try to keep an eye out for the state and county data! And I will pull out one fact from the actual report (or at least blog on the report)…

As the country looks to address 5G technology, it’s clear that it will provide a vital advance for many parts of the nation. But given the nature of the spectrum on which 5G relies, it’s not likely to soon reach the rural areas that currently lack broadband access. For example, today 13 percent of Americans using mobile devices still can’t even access 4G technology.

Telehealth increases sevenfold in MN between 2010 and 2015

Minneapolis Star Tribune reports…

The popularity of telemedicine has soared among Minnesotans in the past decade, with urban dwellers seeking the convenience of routine care online and rural residents videochatting with distant doctors for everything from prescription refills to psychiatric sessions to cancer consults.

A first-of-its-kind report used a Minnesota database of health insurance claims and found that the number of telemedicine visits increased sevenfold from 2010 to 2015. The study is part of a special edition of the influential journal Health Affairs that assesses the national impact of telemedicine — a broad term to describe billable patient care that isn’t provided face to face, including online queries and videoconferencing.

There is a difference in how telehealth is happening in rural and urban areas…

Most of the increase was in virtual visits by privately insured patients in metro areas, who used online portals such as VirtuWell to receive routine care for sore throats and skin rashes.

Such visits accounted for only 20 percent of the 11,113 telemedicine visits in Minnesota in 2010, but 60 percent of the 86,238 visits in 2015.

Patients in rural areas used telemedicine more to connect with doctors in other communities — either to avoid long drives for routine checkups or to get second opinions from specialists, the data showed.

Duluth-based Essentia Health has videoconferencing in every one of its clinics in northern Minnesota. Patients in International Falls, for example, can connect remotely with doctors in seven different specialties, including psychiatry and cardiology.

And there’s room for growth…

Telemedicine accounts for less than 1 percent of all patient care visits, but the local study suggests continued growth. Abraham noted that her research did not assess the effectiveness of virtual vs. in-person visits, just the numbers of them.

Why are adults using health care devices?

Just a fun look at how people are using connected health devices from Internet Innovation Alliance…

It doesn’t actually say how many (or what percentage of) adults use a device for heath reasons but I think we could conservatively say a third do. I wore a Fitbit for years and I have to say for myself it did get me thinking about how to sneak in extra steps. So now I walk outside whenever I have a conference call. I’m getting exercise and I’m not distracted with my email. When I’m in a waiting room, I tend to pace. I park at the back of the lot.

It’s a little way that being online can make life a little better – for those who have access.