The National Digital Inclusion Alliance has just released Worst Connected Cities 2017. It’s based on the same American Community Survey data as CYC used in this post, but includes many smaller cities (the cutoff point is 50,000 households, not the 100,000 we used) and looks at a different metric: The percentage of households who told the Census they have no home Internet access of any kind. That means no smartphones, no satellite dishes, no dial-up connections and no “Internet access without a subscription”. No connections at all.
So where does Cleveland rank among the 191 cities included in this comparison? Our city is fifth worst-connected among all these cities, with almost 27% of our households still lacking home Internet access of any kind in 2017. Read more
The U.S. Census released its 2017 American Community Survey yesterday. Here are some of the things the new ACS reveals about the state of home Internet access for Cleveland residents in 2017:
Only 55% of Cleveland households had Internet connections via wireline broadband — i.e. cable modem, home fiber, or some form of DSL. In contrast, about 74% of Cuyahoga County residents outside Cleveland had wireline broadband connections.
Even when mobile and satellite accounts are included, just 70% of all Cleveland households had any kind of home broadband service last year. Three of every ten Cleveland homes remained disconnected.
Cleveland’s rates of wireline broadband connection and total home broadband connection made us 2017’s fourth worst-connected U.S. city of 100,000 or more households…. behind only Detroit and Miami, and essentially still tied for third place with Greensboro (for wireline connections) and Memphis (for all broadband connections).
In our last post we reviewed Richard Cordray’s broadband positions, outlined as part of the Democratic gubernatorial candidate’s infrastructure bond proposal. Recognizing that Ohio’s digital divide affects low income city residents as well as unserved rural communities, Cordray’s plan promises to support broadband initiatives by local governments; encourage commercial ISPs to use available Federal dollars to expand rural access; restore state funding for local workforce and library digital skills training programs; and create an “Office of Connectivity” to coordinate Ohio’s broadband policy.
Six days ago, Cordray’s Republican rival Michael DeWine answered with his own broadband position, included in the DeWine/Husted “Ohio Prosperity Plan”.
Here’s the DeWine plan’s broadband language in its entirety:
Expand broadband infrastructure across Ohio to make Ohio a frontrunner in mobile edge technologies. Our state cannot be tech-friendly when some people and communities don’t have access to the digital highway that allows them to participate and grow. Understanding the cost involved, the DeWine-Husted administration will work closely with the private sector to expand our broadband infrastructure.
“Mobile edge technologies” is one of AT&T’s promised “next big things” associated with 5G; see here and here. This phrase is probably DeWine’s way of promising strong state government support for AT&T’s 5G plans in Ohio, whatever they turn out to be. (Hint: Not rural broadband.) Read more