MN Beats National Average for Broadband Service

According to a recent study, 72 percent of Minnesota households have broadband service, a higher percentage than the national average of 67 percent; Minnesota also has more residents with access to higher-speed broadband service.

Minnesota has more households with broadband service than the national average and more residents have access to higher speed-50 megabits per second or more-broadband Internet, according to a recent study.

The study, called Minnesota Broadband Availability and Adoption Statistics, was conducted by Connect Minnesota in partnership with the Minnesota Broadband Task Force and the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

The Broadband Task Force was created in 2008 and last year established a goal to have high-speed broadband access for 100 percent of Minnesota households by 2015.

The purpose of the study was to review the current state of broadband in Minnesota. According to a press release from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the findings are a “key element for strategic planning and further development of high-speed Internet access and adoption programs across the state.”

According to the study, 72 percent of Minnesota households have broadband service, a greater percentage than the national average of 67 percent. In addition, nearly 97 percent of households in the state have access to broadband, meaning that about a quarter of that state's residents chose not to subscribe to services.

The study reports that of the households that don't subscribe to services, 48 percent report a lack of interest in broadband, 35 percent report that a lack of a computer is the primary barrier to broadband, 31 percent say broadband is too expensive, and 16 percent report lack of broadband availability to their home.

The study also found that the state's availability of higher-speed broadband service-at least 50 megabits per second-is significantly greater than many others states. Nearly 94 percent of Minnesota households have broadband available at download speeds of 3 megabits per second-a level now often considered necessary for effectively conducting many Internet applications.

According to the study, the reason why Minnesota has a large number of households with higher-speed broadband is because more than half-60 percent-of the state's population resides in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

In terms of computer ownership, the study found that 15 percent, or about 588,000, of Minnesota residents do not own a home computer. Of those residents, about 73 percent said that they do not believe they need one.

Connect Minnesota is the state's designated entity for the statewide broadband mapping and planning initiative. The organization will update the inventory of broadband infrastructure in Minnesota twice yearly with the next update scheduled for this spring.