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Survey: Minnesotans spend $50 a month on broadband

Minnesotans spend an average of just under $50 per month on home broadband service, says a report by Connect Minnesota, a nonprofit working to expand broadband service in the state.
The state’s $49.46 average cost is slightly higher than the $45.73

Minnesotans spend an average of just under $50 per month on home broadband service, says a report by Connect Minnesota, a nonprofit working to expand broadband service in the state.

The state’s $49.46 average cost is slightly higher than the $45.73 average found in a survey of other states, the report said. (It notes, though, that Minnesotans might be getting faster broadband speeds than the other areas surveyed, which would account for the price difference.)

About 28 percent of Minnesotans pay more than $50 a month for broadband, the report said.

Other findings in the report:

  • When asked to rate their satisfaction with the price, 15% of broadband-connected Minnesotans (representing about 432,000 adults) gave a rating of “5 out of 5.”
  • More than one out of five subscribers (21%, representing 607,000 adult residents) say that price was a factor in their decision to subscribe, either because the price went down, or they realized that the cost was worth the extra price per month.
  • Approximately 1.1 million adult Minnesotans do not subscribe to broadband service. Cost is the main barrier to adoption for 26% of them (approximately 297,000). This includes those who say that the monthly cost of broadband service is too high (17.5%), the cost of a computer is too expensive (5.5%), and the activation and installation fees are too expensive (3.3%).
  • The cost of home broadband service is cited as a barrier by many at-risk groups, including low-income households and minorities; across Minnesota, approximately 37,000 minority households do not subscribe to broadband primarily due to the cost barrier.

 The group said in a statement:

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The cost of home broadband service is a growing factor in encouraging more Minnesotans to get connected. Just a few years ago, most people did not even know what broadband was, let alone how it could benefit their lives. Now, though, a growing number of Minnesotans realize what a home broadband connection can mean for them, but many cite cost as a reason for not subscribing to the service.

An earlier survey by Connect Minnesota found that about 28 percent of Minnesota households do not have broadband service; the non-Internet number is 39 percent in rural areas of the state.

That October survey reported “large gaps among key demographics”:

  • 53% of low-income households;
  • 51% of Hispanic households; and
  • 68% of seniors are without broadband.

54% of low-income households with children are without access to this essential tool at home.

The biggest gap is among low-income seniors. Only 21% of low-income seniors subscribe to broadband and only 32% have a computer at home.

The largest barrier to non-adopters is relevance— 29% of non-adopters say there isn’t Internet content worth viewing. The second most commonly cited barrier is that it is too expensive.

The number one reason Minnesotans say they started using broadband is because they needed it for business.