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 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:

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.

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Mark Stromseth on 11/20/2011 - 01:43 pm.

    While it may be true that the average Minnesota household pays $50 per month on broadband service, you have to put that in context.

    That is, you failed to mention that at least 60% of all Qwest/Cenury Link customers in the 14-state area serviced by Qwest have no access to broadband service at all, regardless of price. Secondly, most people who do have access can’t afford it. This is from Qwest’s own internal data several years ago, and they have not been spending nearly the amount of money needed to expand service to those areas not covered.

    Third, the cost of broadband should be a lot lower than it is, and we should be getting much faster speeds. Less wealthy countries have 100 Mbps speeds at half the average cost per month here, or less. The cost of bandwidth is going down, but costs to consumer are not going down nearly as much, and the speeds are not keeping pace with what other countries offer.

    In short, we’re still being ripped off.

  2. Submitted by James Hamilton on 11/21/2011 - 10:38 am.

    The study likely understates the true cost of broadband access in Minnesota because may broadband providers, such as Comcast/Xfinity and Whatever_Bell-Is_Called_Today, require subscription to other services in order to obtain the “best” price.

    Broadband is effectivly a local-monopoly service. It should be treated as such.

  3. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 11/21/2011 - 02:13 pm.

    Can’t speak to the accuracy of Mark Stromseth’s numbers (e.g., 60% have no access to broadband at all), but I’ve read in several places that most of the places on the planet that *have* broadband, have faster and less expensive broadband than we do. I’ve no use for exotic phone services I won’t use, but I’d have to buy into that strata in order to get the “best” price for broadband – guaranteed for 5 years (I hope someone with a better memory than mine will find a way to legally hold CenturyLink to that promise). Since I won’t/don’t use those phone services, I settle for DSL service of “up to” 7 MB/sec at very nearly the broadband average price for the state, $45/month, and it’s a “promotional” price. It’s hard not to agree that we’re still being ripped off, no matter who’s providing the alleged broadband service.

    Points to James Hamilton for “Whatever–Bell–Is–Called–Today.” My favorite phrase of the day so far.

  4. Submitted by mark justine on 10/16/2012 - 01:04 am.


    The survey should be appropriate. otherwise 50$ is sufficient amount for the broadband. but the rating provided by the users is “5 out of 5 ” so broadband amount can be increased.

    broadband services

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