Friday, December 19, 2014

Rural/Urban Broadband Study Released

02/18/2011

The Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration has released a new national map of broadband use and availability. It is the "first public, searchable nationwide map of broadband Internet availability," according to the NTIA.

The map is available here.  It's searchable and you can look for particular kinds of technology.

And this Friday morning, it's slow, slammed, no doubt by people looking for broadband in their communities.

There is a special report comparing broadband availability in urban and rural areas. That can be found here

There are tons of maps and charts, all showing a continuing gap between rural and urban America in terms of broadband availability. For instance, nationwide, 98.9% of urban Americans have some kind of wireline connection to the Internet. In rural areas, only 77.2% of residents have a wired connection. Only 85% of rural Americans have a wireless connection available.

The map above shows the difference between urban and rural rates of availability in each state. This map includes both wired and wireless technology.

The bluer the state, the greater the difference between urban and rural rates of broadband availability. In Kentucky, for example, 99.9% of urban residents have access to any kind of technology, but only 89.5% of rural residents have some kind of broadband connection.

Blue states have a greater than ten point difference between rural and urban rates of broadband availability using any kind of technology.

The states in white have less than a 1.5% difference between rural and urban rates of availability. 

While the digital divide between urban and rural areas has lessened since 2007, it remains significant. In 2010, 70 percent of urban households and only 60 percent of rural households accessed broadband Internet service. (Last year, those figures were 66 percent and 54 percent, respectively.)

Overall, the two most commonly cited main reasons for not having broadband Internet access at home are that it is perceived as not needed (46 percent) or too expensive (25 percent). In rural America, however, lack of broadband availability is a larger reason for non-adoption than in urban areas (9.4 percent vs. 1 percent). Americans also cite the lack of a computer as a factor.

The report has many other comparisons and state by state charts showing penetration of different kinds of technology.

 

Comments

definition of broadband

My issue with the Urban/Rural report is that their definition of broadband is 768 kbps (download). That definition was supplied to them by the NTIA - but I don't think it meets most users' definition. It's a far cry from the National Broadband Plan first class goal of 100 Mbps - it's even far slower than the NBP second tier goal of 4 Mbps.

I suspect that the difference in broadband availability is even greater when you look at access to 4 Mbps.