This assessment o the broadband market in Minnesota is conducted by Connect Minnesota in partnership withthe Minnesota Broadband Task Force and the Minnesota Department o Commerce as part o the State Broad-band Data and Development grant program (SBDD) unded by the National Telecommunications and InormationAdministration (NTIA). This report aims to provide a detailed review o the current state o broadband in Minnesotathat will spark discussion across multiple broadband stakeholders in the state on key policy and strategies to ex-pand and enhance the broadband experience or all Minnesotans.The SBDD grant program was created by the Broadband Data Improvement Act (BDIA), unanimously passed byCongress in 2008, and unded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in 2009. As part o theSBDD grant program, in May and October 2010, Connect Minnesota produced updated maps o broadband avail-ability to identiy served and unserved areas across the state. Additionally, Connect Minnesota undertook surveyresearch in the spring o 2010 to understand broadband demand trends across the state. The purpose o thisresearch is to better understand the drivers and barriers to technology and broadband adoption and estimate the“Broadband Adoption Gap” across the state o Minnesota. Appendix A o this report presents extensive results othis research.The demand-side survey data complements the mapping inventory inormation describing the state o broadbandsupply in Minnesota. This report analyzes this complementary demand-side and supply-side research and con-trasts the data with national benchmarks released by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as part othe National Broadband Plan (NBP).
Following the spirit o the NBP, as well as a 2009 report by the MinnesotaUltra High-Speed Broadband Task Force, and based on the broadband availability and adoption data collected byConnect Minnesota, this report proposes a series o recommendations intended to spur discussion and eedbackamong key stakeholders across Minnesota. To account or eedback to this report, the Minnesota BroadbandTask Force, working with Connect Minnesota, seek eedback through multiple means across the state to ensure allvoices are heard and included. This process will ensure ully inormed Broadband Action Planning to be developedand released by the Minnesota Broadband Task Force and Connect Minnesota in 2011 and beyond.
Overview of the Broadband Market in Minnesota
Minnesota’s broadband marketplace is interesting when comparing the ew urban areas o the state with their ruralcounterparts. Geographically large, 60% o Minnesota’s population resides in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.Because three-ths o Minnesotans reside in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, broadband inventory data showshigh availability o upper speed tier broadband in the state. The outlook, however, or the state’s remaining house-holds indicates ewer choices and slower speeds. Furthermore, while only available to less than 4% o Minnesotahouseholds, ber to the home broadband is available in more than 50 o Minnesota’s 87 counties.It is estimated that as o October 2010, terrestrial, xed broadband providers oer service to 96.59% o all Min-nesota households.
This implies that an estimated 66,647 Minnesota households (3.41%) lack basic broadbandservice and remain unserved by terrestrial, xed broadband. It is urther estimated that approximately 93.76%o Minnesota households have broadband available at download speeds o 3 Mbps or more. This implies thatan estimated 118,313 Minnesota households have basic broadband available but lack xed broadband serviceo at least 3 Mbps downstream – a service level now oten considered necessary or eectively conducting many
1 Broadband is defined according to current NTIA definition of at least 768 Kbps download and 200 Kbps upload speeds.2 Ibid.3 Broadband data collected from 42 Minnesota broadband providers. See Appendix B.