New research unveiled by Connect Ohio shows 88.71% of Ohioans have fixed broadband availability at the 6 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload threshold across the state, an 8.45 percentage point increase compared to two years ago. Other notable findings were the increase at speeds of 50 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload, increasing 22 percentage points from October 2011 (excluding mobile wireless and satellite services). Now 83.65% of households have access to speeds of 50 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload with a significant part of the growth occurring in rural areas; 37 counties have seen an increase of 10 percentage points or more with only six of those counties being urban.
“An 8.45% percentage point increase in 6 Mbps speed is an encouraging development,” said Connect Ohio Executive Director Stu Johnson. “However, the FCC recommends that as the minimum download speed for households that want to run high-demand applications and speeds greater than 15 Mbps to run multiple high-demand applications simultaneously. The 22 percentage point increase in 50 Mbps speeds over the past two years is a significant increase and shows the direction we are headed in. It is vital that we get Ohioans the same access to higher speeds so they can leverage all that broadband has to offer; this will be a focus for our future work.”
Connect Ohio has been working to ensure that Ohio residents have access to the economic, educational, and quality-of-life benefits derived from increased broadband access, adoption, and use. Part of that work includes maintaining detailed GIS analysis of broadband availability across the state to support broadband planning efforts. This is the eighth comprehensive broadband availability data submission since the State Broadband Initiative started in 2010.
Among the findings of the new broadband availability research include:
· The relevant metric the FCC uses to determine eligibility for Connect America Fund subsidies is fixed terrestrial broadband service at speeds of least 3 Mbps download/768 Kbps upload; in Ohio availability at this threshold is currently at 97.69%.
· 88.71% of Ohio’s households now have access to broadband service of at least 6 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload; this is an increase of 8.45 percentage points from October 2011 (excluding mobile wireless and satellite services).
· 83.65% of Ohio’s households now have access to broadband service of at least 50 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload; this is an increase of 22 percentage points from October 2011 (excluding mobile wireless and satellite services).
· 7.98% of Ohio’s households now have access to broadband service of at least 100 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload; this is an increase of 6.58 percentage points from April 2013 (excluding mobile wireless and satellite services).
· Fixed wireless broadband availability at 768 Kbps download/200 Kbps upload increased from 42.75% in October 2011 to 46.93% in October 2013, an increase of 4.18 percentage points.
· DSL broadband availability at 768 Kbps download/200 Kbps upload increased from 80.09% in October 2011 to 92.68% in October 2013, an increase of 12.59 percentage points.
Connect Ohio recently celebrated Van Wert County’s designation as being the first certified Connected community in the state of Ohio. However, there are numerous communities across Ohio that still lack affordable and attainable access to broadband services. Connect Ohio continues to work with communities across the state to support comprehensive community broadband planning efforts and provide technical assistance.
Last year, Connect Ohio released an innovative broadband mapping tool called My ConnectViewTM, offering unmatched views of the Ohio technology landscape. Residents and businesses are encouraged to use the interactive map to find area providers and help validate the data. To report that broadband is not available in a given area, consumers can fill out a broadband inquiry.
Connect Ohio’s research was conducted as part of the State Broadband Initiative (SBI) grant program for Ohio, funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The data were gathered in accordance with the requirements of the NTIA. The process begins by contacting all known providers in the state and providing information about the broadband mapping project. Information on broadband service areas is collected from each provider through voluntary participation and is subject to confidentiality protections. Connect Ohio strives to maintain a flexible mapping process to be able to collect data from providers in a variety of formats based on providers’ technical capabilities and resources.