Iowa: Study: A third of households lack broadband

For some reason I seem to know many people in Iowa that are the 5% that do not have access to broadband.  I assume that satellite access was included in this study.  Penetration would be much less if satellite was not included.

95% have access to some form of high-speed Internet, but some don’t want it, say it’s too expensive or don’t have a computer.


CEDAR RAPIDS — A new study prepared in cooperation with the Iowa Utilities Board found that one-third of Iowa households don’t have broadband service, but not entirely because of a lack of access.

The study, released Wednesday, found that 95 percent of households do have access to some form of high-speed Internet, The Gazette of Cedar Rapids reported.

Among households that don’t subscribe to broadband service, 45 percent didn’t want it, 31 percent didn’t own a computer and 21 percent said it was too expensive.

Only 10 percent of households said it wasn’t available. Those were more likely to be in rural areas, which had larger access gaps than urban areas, the study found.

For example, in Ringgold County on the state’s southern border, only 68 percent of households had access to broadband, the lowest percentage in the state. The state’s mostly urban counties all had broadband availability rates above the state average.

However, not all broadband is equal. While the study counts any Internet service with data speeds of 768 kilobits per second as broadband, 3 megabits per second more closely fits the broadband standards in other developed nations.

About 88 percent of Iowa households have access to the higher-speed broadband. So about 89,000 Iowa households have access to slow broadband or none at all.

That’s a problem, said Gov. Chet Culver, who said further expansion and adoption of quality broadband service was needed to ensure economic competitiveness. He said high-speed Internet also lets Iowans receive vital educational, medical and government services.

The Iowa Utilities Board sees broadband access as a fundamental household utility service, said board member Krista Tanner.

Tanner said one difference the study found between Iowa and the rest of the nation is broadband adoption rates in the state are nearly identical between rural an non-rural areas.

Nationally, rural adoption rates are about 50 percent versus nearly 90 percent for non-rural areas.

About Mark Milliman

Mark Milliman is a Principal Consultant at Inphotonics Research driving the adoption and assisting local governments to plan, build, operate, and lease access open-access municipal broadband networks. Additionally, he works with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to increase the value of their intellectual capital through the creation of strategic product plans and execution of innovative marketing strategies. With more than 22 years of experience in the telecommunications industry that began at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Mark has built fiber, cable, and wireless networks around the world to deliver voice, video, and data services. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of service delivery from content creation to the design, operation, and management of the network is utilized by carriers and equipment manufacturers. Mark conceived and developed one of the industry's first multi-service provisioning platform and is multiple patent holder. He is active in the IEEE as a senior member. Mark received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Iowa State University and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
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