More than 50,000 households in Cleveland and more than 90,000 in Detroit had no Internet access of any kind in 2015, according to the Census’ newly released American Community Survey.
That number excludes households with smartphones, dial-up modems or “Internet access without a subscription”. Here are the details:
(Click on chart for full size view)
The Census says “Internet access without a subscription” covers community wifi access and Internet in college dorms. But the category may well also include mobile access purchased without “subscriptions”, like data cards from Wal-Mart or Target.
Among households that do have Internet access, the cable companies — Time Warner in Cleveland and Comcast in Detroit — are the biggest providers by far. AT&T’s DSL service holds a distant second place in both cities.
Last Thursday the Census released its 2015 American Community Survey One Year Estimates, which includes household Internet data for cities with more than 65,000 residents.
According to the new ACS data, only 52% of Cleveland households and just 46% of Detroit households had “fixed broadband” Internet connections in 2015.
Cleveland’s 2015 percentage was third lowest among all U.S. cities with 50,000 or more households. Detroit’s was dead last.
“Fixed broadband” includes cable, DSL, fiber and satellite Internet services — that is, everything but mobile devices and dial-up modems. About 71% of all U.S. households had fixed broadband access last year.
We’ll have more on the new ACS data soon.
An update on our last post...
CNN Money reported on Friday, and AT&T has now confirmed, that the company has reconsidered its earlier decision to deny “Access From AT&T” discount service to thousands of SNAP households living in areas of Cleveland and Detroit where Internet speeds are less than 3 mbps down.
From the CNN Money story:
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance, a public interest group, pushed AT&T to make the $5 a month offer available for customers whose service doesn’t reach 3 Mbps.
AT&T at first said it would stick to the strict terms of the FCC order. But Friday, after a series of stories appeared in tech media and on CNNMoney, the company changed course.
“We’re currently working to expand the eligibility process of Access from AT&T to the 2% of our home internet customers unable to receive internet speed tiers of 3 Mbps and above,” said spokesman Brett Levecchio.
Here’s the National Digital Inclusion Alliance’s statement in response.
NDIA first approached AT&T about the problem after CYC reported that eligible applicants in Cleveland were being turned down for $5-$10 Access connections because the maximum AT&T Internet speeds available at their homes were too low.
It seems those households and their eligible neighbors will soon be able to get Access service after all, thanks to what NDIA calls AT&T’s “change of heart”.