Percentage of each State’s Population with Access to Broadband Internet

The term “broadband internet” is used frequently in discussions about Internet access, but what does “broadband internet” actually mean? According to the FCC, to be called broadband internet download speeds must be 25 Mbps or higher. With this clear delineation, the question then becomes, “Who has access to broadband internet in the United States?” We compiled a ranked list of the states, and their respective broadband coverage. We also took a look at the largest metros across the USA, and ranked them based on broadband coverage.

Broadband Coverage by State

For this particular comparison, we took a look at which states had access to internet download speeds greater than or equal to 25 Mbps. Coverage percentage is based on population covered, not geographic coverage.   As you can see, the North East has a pretty dominant hold on broadband coverage, with Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Delaware all falling in the top 10 most covered states. The West and Midwest follow closely behind, with Washington, Utah, Nevada, California, and Oregon all falling in the top 15 covered states. 1. Rhode Island – 99.7% 2. New Jersey – 98.8% 3. Connecticut – 98.8% 4. District of Columbia – 98.3% 5. New York – 98% 6. Hawaii – 97% 7. Massachusetts – 97% 8. Washington – 96.8% 9. Utah – 96.2% 10. Delaware – 96% 11. Illinois – 95.3% 12. Nevada – 95.2% 13. Oregon – 94.3% 14. California – 94.3% 15. Florida – 94.2% 16. Maryland – 93.8% 17. Pennsylvania – 91.5% 18. North Carolina – 91.2% 19. Minnesota – 91% 20. Michigan – 89.2% 21. North Dakota – 88.9% 22. Arizona – 88.2% 23. Ohio – 88% 24. Georgia – 87.4% 25. Indiana – 86.9% 26. Wisconsin – 86.7% 27. Maine – 86.5% 28. South Dakota – 86.4% 29. New Hampshire – 86.2% 30. Tennessee – 85% 31. South Carolina – 84.9% 32. Virginia – 84.4% 33. Colorado – 83.2% 34. Iowa – 82.7% 35. Kansas – 81.7% 36. Idaho – 81.3% 37. Missouri – 79.8% 38. Nebraska – 79.3% 39. Louisiana – 78.9% 40. Alabama – 76.6% 41. New Mexico – 75% 42. Wyoming – 73.6% 43. Mississippi – 69.3% 44. Oklahoma – 67.8% 45. West Virginia – 67.5% 46. Texas – 66% 47. Kentucky – 64.8% 48. Alaska – 63.6% 49. Arkansas – 58.5% 50. Montana – 22.5% 51. Vermont – 20.7%

Broadband Coverage by Metro

 

Top 25 Metros with Broadband Coverage

If you want to have a good chance of broadband coverage, then it would seem Washington State is one of the best places to live, with 5 metros in the top 25, followed by Florida with 4 metros and New York State with 3 metros. All three states are in the top 15 coverage states, so this should come as no surprise. 1. Myrtle Beach, SC – 1% 2. Kennewick, WA – 0.999% 3. Carson City, NV – 0.999% 4. Bridgeport, CT – 0.998% 5. Poughkeepsie, NY – 0.998% 6. New York, NY – 0.998% 7. Allentown, PA – 0.997% 8. Champaign Urbana, IL – 0.997% 9. Honolulu, HI – 0.997% 10. Providence, RI – 0.996% 11. Palm Bay, FL – 0.996% 12. Spokane, WA – 0.995% 13. Salt Lake City, UT – 0.994% 14. Bellingham, WA – 0.994% 15. Tampa, FL – 0.993% 16. Winston Salem, NC – 0.993% 17. Corvallis, OR – 0.993% 18. Seattle, WA – 0.993% 19. Buffalo, NY – 0.993% 20. Los Angeles, CA – 0.993% 21. Palm Coast, FL – 0.992% 22. Las Vegas, NV – 0.992% 23. Milwaukee, WI – 0.992% 24. Mt Vernon, WA – 0.991% 25. Orlando, FL – 0.991%

Worst 25 Metros with Broadband Coverage

More important than where to find broadband speeds may be to know which metros to avoid, with less than satisfactory speeds. Of the ~ 370 metros analyzed, 14 metros in Texas fell into the worst 25 broadband covered metros. In fairness, Texas is the second largest state in the USA, which means coverage can be difficult to some of the more rural areas in the state. Conversely, California only has one metro fall into the worst 25 covered metros, and is the largest state in the USA. Unfortunately, you will only find Los Angeles in the top 25 most covered metros, meaning the majority of California’s cities have relatively average broadband coverage. 1. Longview, TX – 0.503% 2. Visalia, CA – 0.483% 3. College Station, TX – 0.294% 4. Cumberland, MD – 0.288% 5. Killeen Temple, TX – 0.28% 6. Lubbock, TX – 0.258% 7. Missoula, MT – 0.25% 8. Billings, MT – 0.237% 9. Yuma, AZ – 0.228% 10. Burlington, VT – 0.219% 11. Abilene, TX – 0.2% 12. Tyler, TX – 0.196% 13. Amarillo, TX – 0.193% 14. San Angelo, TX – 0.171% 15. Grand Junction, CO – 0.149% 16. Hot Springs, AR – 0.09% 17. Great Falls, MT – 0.085% 18. El Paso, TX – 0.064% 19. Beaumont, TX – 0.041% 20. Wichita Falls, TX – 0.024% 21. McAllen, TX – 0.019% 22. Laredo, TX – 0.013% 23. Pittsfield, MA – 0.007% 24. Brownsville, TX – 0.006% 25. Pine Bluff, AZ – 0.001% All in all, there is a substantial variance in the amount of broadband coverage across the United States. The Northeast and West seem to be leading the charge on improving access to high speed internet for their residents. Want to see which providers are available in your area, and how they stack up against the rest of nation? Use our zip search below to get started. [zipfinder] Alaska Communications, the leading broadband provider in Alaska, expanded operations and became the first provider to bring Voice over Internet to Juneau, Fairbanks, and Kenai. The move will likely help to expand business operations throughout the state and bring faster speeds to rural areas over time. Alaska Struggling to Catch Up The 49th state lags behind much of the U.S. in terms of both Internet access and speed. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a report in January stating 17 percent of Americans don’t have access to broadband Internet. When you divide populations by urban and rural residents, 53 percent of Americans in rural areas lack access to broadband. In Alaska, that number shoots to 81 percent. The FCC sets the benchmark for broadband speeds at 25 megabits per second for downloads and 3 megabits for upload speeds. Even with broadband the average Internet speed in Alaska clocks in at only 7 Mbps. Alaska Communications hopes their service will help increase these speeds. What is Voice over Internet? Alaska Communications’ hosted Voice over Internet service is a flexible phone communication system that’ll bring high definition voice capability to the region. The service provides increased sound capabilities along with more options for connection to both small and large businesses across the state. The service was first introduced to small businesses in Anchorage in 2012 and has slowly spread throughout Alaska since. Voice over Internet allows businesses to make phone calls over the Internet. The service is cloud-based and the company claims it’ll reduce operating costs while also maintaining low up-front costs for customers. Alaska Communications controls the underwater fiber-optic cable that connects the state to the lower 48. Since introducing hosted Voice over Internet to more cities, some have seen significant spikes in Internet speeds. Kenai has seen peaks of up to 64.99 Mbps. The packages available in the service include dedicated voice-network access along with the Alaska Voice™ mobility app, voicemail services over the Internet, and office phones. Enhancing Business Solutions A partnership between Alaska Communications and Quintillion Holds, a fund administration company, led to the spread of Voice over Internet. The companies hope the new service will help oil and gas producers along the North Slope increase operations and function at greater efficiency. Quintillion Holdings also announced plans to begin a subsea fiber-optic connection between the North Slope and Fairbanks to boost connectivity to the state’s oil and gas fields. These industries provide 92 percent of the state’s unrestricted revenue. The new service could also serve as a boon to Alaska’s tourism industry. Increased Internet speeds often lead to more productive and economic boosts. Alaska’s location could play an integral part in the spread of arctic fiber cables, providing a much-needed windfall to the state’s economy if it plays its cards right. Right now, the state is focused on increasing speeds for businesses rather than residential customers with the hopes increased infrastructure will lead to more business opportunities and growth in not only cities, but also rural areas. The Alaska Broadband Task Force estimates the state will need at least $1 billion to update the broadband infrastructure currently in place to meet the FCC’s standards for minimum speeds. The company still has work to do if it wants to reach customers in the more remote parts of Alaska, but this seems like a good start to a great service. Photo Credit: Joseph/Flikr
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