70% of MN Homes Can Now Access High-Speed Internet

State officials hope to provide access to broadband of a minimum speed quality to all Minnesotans by 2015.

New research shows that 70 percent of Minnesota households have access to broadband Internet access, up from about 61 percent last October.
 
The goal of Minnesota lawmakers is to boost that number to 100 percent by 2015, with “broadband” defined as having a minimum download speed of 10 megabits per second and upload speeds of five megabits per second.
 
“We are glad to see these numbers move in the right direction,” Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman said in a statement. “Hopefully with this research, the development of broadband stays on pace to meet Minnesota’s goals and needs.”
 
The broadband research was conducted by Connect Minnesota, a nonprofit that works to ensure that Minnesota residents have access to the economic and educational benefits that come from increased broadband access.
 
Lawmakers want all state residents and businesses to have access to high-speed broadband service as soon as possible, but not later than 2015.
 
If broadband is defined as having lower speeds, the percentage of Minnestoans with access is higher. Eighty-seven percent of Minnesota households can access broadband at download speeds of at least 10 megabits per second and upload speeds of just three megabits per second. These upload speeds exclude mobile and satellite services; when mobile services are included, the percentage increases to about 97 percent.
 
“Minnesota continues to make progress toward expanding broadband availability and achieving our state speed goals,” William Hoffman, state program manager for Connect Minnesota, said in a statement. “As providers, the state, and stakeholders work to expand broadband access, adoption, and use in Minnesota, we will continue to see the economic and social benefits across our state.”