More Minnesotans adopt broadband Internet

A new survey shows 78 percent of households in Minnesota have broadband Internet service.

That's up 6 percentage points from 2011, according to figures released Wednesday by Connect Minnesota, a public-private partnership formed to close the digital gap across the state. But the 2012 survey shows that in rural Minnesota, just 71 percent of residents have broadband.

"When that is addressed, you'll have the economic benefits, whether its people that can start up businesses, whether its businesses that might locate to a certain area, whether it's people that might decide 'I want to live in this area and commute or telework,' " said program manager William Hoffman. "That will then be an option."

There are many reasons some rural residents are not adopting broadband, Hoffman said.

"In some cases it is availability. There are certain areas of the state where we're still working on getting high-speed, high-quality broadband to those areas," Hoffman said. "It also could be a function of what we found is our number one reason for people not adopting, which is there's nothing they're interested in online."

The survey has a margin of error of 3.2 percent. Hoffman said Connect Minnesota's most recent analysis showed 62 percent of Minnesotans have access to high-speed broadband at the state statutory speed goal -- defined as 10 megabits per second for downloading, five for uploading. He said 95 percent of the state's residents have broadband access at a lower speed.

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