#318. How’s Your Broadband?

Posted on | The Agurban

How’s Your Broadband?

A new federal map of the nation’s broadband services was recently released by the Commerce Department.  While the study shows that most Americans have access to basic Internet service, it also shows that there is a wide variation in the availability and speed of Internet access across the nation.

Between 5% and 10% of U.S. households, most of them in rural areas, don’t have access to Internet service of at least 4 megabits per second – considered by the government to be a minimum for basic activities, such as web-surfing, e-mailing, and video-streaming.

The study further shows that 32% of households don’t subscribe to broadband service even though it is available. However, the study doesn’t provide any pricing information about Internet service.

The new broadband map is part of a multi-billion dollar effort by the federal government to improve broadband service and availability around the country, particularly in rural areas with slower or non-existent service.

The map is available at www.broadbandmap.gov. By entering a street address, you can see which broadband providers offer service and at what speeds.

We randomly entered some locations to see how they compare. (Not completely random. In addition to our hometown of Effingham, IL, we selected one Golden Eagle Agurb from each region of the country.) Here’s how they compare in regards to the number of carriers offering service with advertised speeds above 3 Megabits per second (Mbps). The second number is the number of carriers providing service with advertised speeds above 10 Mbps.
Effingham, IL – 3, 1
Cape Girardeau, MO – 4, 1
Douglas, GA – 3, 1
Bozeman, MT – 5, 2
Marble Falls, TX – 5, 2
Nevada City, CA – 2, 1 (Comcast offers service above 100 Mbps)
Source: Wall Street Journal