A quarter of Minnesotans have no broadband at home

More than a quarter of Minnesotans still don't have high-speed Internet access in their homes, a new survey shows.

And even though both CenturyLink and Comcast recently announced plans that offer low-cost Internet access for low-income Minnesotans in their service areas, price is not the main obstacle for those households who don't have broadband access.

Instead, the survey, conducted by the non-profit organization Connect Minnesota, shows that the largest number of people (29 percent) without broadband in their homes say they don't want it because there isn't content relevant to them on the Internet. Cost is the second most-cited reason (18 percent).

You can sort through all the numbers on this interactive Connect Minnesota page.

Other studies have also shown that perceived relevance outweighs money as an obstacle. That's why, along with federal stimulus money to lay fiber and expand access, the federal government provided $5 million to the Blandin Foundation to cultivate a culture of adoption in the state.

The Connect Minnesota survey was conducted between June 28 and Aug. 14 and involved random phone calls, first to 1,200 Minnesota residents and then to another 1,900 Minnesotans who do not subscribe to broadband service in their homes.

The survey showed that 28 percent of Minnesotans do not have broadband access in their homes. In rural Minnesota, that figure is 39 percent. These numbers are consistent with a survey last October by the Center for Rural Policy and Development in St. Peter. That report did show rural adoption slightly higher than the new survey.

The Connect Minnesota survey identifies several demographic groups with lots of people who don't have broadband at home: Low income households (53 percent), senior citizens (68 percent) and Hispanics (51 percent).

Connect Minnesota is part of Connected Nation, which measure broadband availability in a number of states. Similar studies elsewhere show more homes without high-speed access in such states as Texas (38 percent), Iowa (37 percent), Michigan (39 percent) and Tennessee (36 percent.)

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