A new report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum shows lack of access to broadband internet isn’t just a rural problem.
It’s true that the percentage of residents without access to broadband is higher in the northern and rural parts of the state. However, some urbanized counties — Dane and Marathon, for example — have some of the highest numbers of residents without a high-speed internet connection in the state.
Broadband is defined by the Federal Communications Commission as 25 megabits per second download and 3 Mbps upload. However, the FCC is funding efforts to add connections with at least 10 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload.
Using data from the FCC, report authors show three counties have over 18,000 people without access to 10/1 service: Marathon, Clark and St. Croix.
And seven counties have between 10,000 and 15,000 people without 10/1 service: Dane, Grant, Wood, Waupaca, Waushara, Oconto and Marinette.
By comparison, several rural counties are outperforming urban areas. Florence, Iron, Douglas and Bayfield counties — all in northern Wisconsin — have similar numbers of people without a 10/1 connection to urban counties in the southeastern part of the state.
“That is due in part, of course, to the much smaller populations in those Northwoods counties,” report authors noted. Read the full story here.