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A Research Brief on Household Access to Broadband from the Strategic Networks Group

Drew Clark

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BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: We've been following SNG Group for some time. Think of this group as the "broadband economists." They take data about broadband and help communities understand what they can do with it to enhance their usage of high-speed technology, and to find their competitive advantages vis-a-vis other communities. See this research report they've just published, together with a link to a specific report about rural Custer County, Colorado.

Household Access to Robust and Competitive Broadband. An SNG Research Brief on Household Broadband:

Access to robust and competitive broadband is essential for any community to survive, let alone thrive. Unserved or underserved areas continue to exist in many localities, whether because of limited or no choices for service providers, outdated technology, etc. This research brief provides some insights and data points on the current state of access for households, with focus on rural communities and how they compare to urban areas.

From SNG’s research of over 19,000 households across the North America we are able to reveal some of the important findings that proponents of broadband need to know. These insights are from household data collected directly by SNG rather than statistics provided by service providers or other agencies.

Technologies used

While fiber deployment and use are increasing, cable remains the dominant broadband technology overall with 23.6% of households, followed by DSL at 19.6%. However, the picture changes when you compare urban and rural areas.

While cable dominates urban markets, DSL is still the most used technology in rural areas – which suggests that this is due to the lack of other available options. Fiber use is low for both urban and rural households. For rural areas in particular, the lack of cable and fiber options drives up the use of mobile wireless and satellite as an alternative.

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Source: Household Access to Robust and Competitive Broadband | Strategic Networks Group

(Image of Humboldt Peak and Crestone Needle in Crestone County, Colorado, by Raymond Coveney used with permission.)

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