Census: Only 55% of Cleveland homes have cable, DSL or fiber Internet

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).

Cleveland’s disconnected households are overwhelmingly lower-income — which is not surprising, given the $60+ monthly cost of broadband access of any kind.

Here are two charts, based on the new ACS data, which should make the economic nature of Cleveland’s digital divide pretty clear to anyone:

Here’s Cleveland’s Internet connection data from earlier American Community Survey releases: 2016, 2015, 2013.

In December, we’re expecting something new from the ACS. For the first time, the Census will be publishing its survey results on Internet access and computer ownership for individual Census tracts, not just the whole city. CYC is looking forward to analyzing and sharing this information neighborhood by neighborhood. Stay tuned!

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