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] Although it’s hard to be frustrated at the pace of broadband expansion, high-speed networks are becoming more common every day. Some are built by municipalities, and others by huge Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Two of the newest high-speed projects have found different ways to bring faster Internet speeds to consumers. Not Your Father’s Internet The Oldsmobile Rocket 88 was once synonymous with speed on Woodward Avenue, but now it’s Rocket Fiber that’s showing the world how Detroit does speed: the company claims its new gigabit service will be 100 times faster than the national average. Rocket Fiber is tugging at the city’s heartstrings, positioning itself as “Detroit’s assembly line of the 21st Century.” It’s emphasizing opportunities for innovation over recreation, though 1 Gbps will certainly be enough for any streaming entertainment you can imagine. The decline and decentralization of the American auto industry does make Detroit a good candidate for an economic rebirth, and Rocket Fiber claims that 1 Gbps will make Detroit “a competitive city of the future.” Gigabit home service will cost $70 per month, the same price Google charges in other markets. Woodward will actually represent the center of the new network, which will begin in the Central Business District and Midtown before expanding to surrounding neighborhoods including New Center, Woodbridge, Corktown, Rivertown, Lafayette Park, and Eastern Market. Motown residents who don’t see their neighborhood listed can contact Rocket Fiber and request service; the company says the neighborhoods that express the most demand will get service sooner. Bluegrass Broadband by a Nose Frankly, it was about time Kentucky did something about its Internet speeds: according to Akamai’s Q4 2014 State of the Internet Report, Kentucky ranks 48th in average statewide Internet speeds, at only 7.8 Kbps, and a full quarter of state residents don’t have access to 25 Mbps broadband. That time is now here, as Kentucky has struck an agreement to bring a fiber network to the state’s eastern corridor. In a fairly complex deal, Australian firm Macquarie Capital will lead construction and pay for the majority of construction costs, but the state will actually own the network. The state authorized $30 million in bonds to help pay some of the construction costs, and the Appalachian Regional Commission, a government-operated economic development group, will pay another $15 million. Macquarie will make its money back by charging state government offices for Internet access, and by charging third-party ISPs for access to the network. Pricing and available speeds will vary by provider. Those ISPs could be private companies or municipal networks, as Kentucky has no law against them. It’ll be up to these networks to provide last-mile connection to their subscribers. Construction is scheduled to finish in 2016, and in 2018, the network will expand west to connect the rest of the state. Your Turn Is Coming It seems that every day there’s a new story about a new broadband network under construction or in the planning stages. Has connectivity turned the corner yet? Is the high-speed revolution here? That kind of announcement is hard to quantify, but Internet access isn’t going to get slower. It’s only going to get faster. If your Internet connection doesn’t seem to be getting any faster, maybe it’s time you found a new connection. As the above examples show, there are plenty of ISPs eager to bring you faster service. [zipfinder] Photo Credit: Andrew Langdal/Flikr
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