Broadband Competition Quite Limited in Rochester Region, Despite Flawed Federal Statistics
The FCC’s data has confused some elected officials into thinking Rochester doesn’t have a broadband problem. It does.
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. — Rochester has a thriving economy built around the Mayo Clinic but does not have many choices for high-quality Internet access, a factor that may limit its growth in the digital economy. Federal statistics for broadband are easily confused, leading some elected officials to erroneously conclude that Rochester has enough competition.
In the latest policy brief from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), their staff crunched the data and developed original maps that detail the sad reality of broadband competition in the Rochester metro area. Most residents within city limits have some choice in slower broadband services, but Charter has mostly cornered the high-speed market.
ILSR had to correct some of the FCC data, including a provider that inaccurately claimed to offer very high speeds to everyone. Even after those corrections, the maps almost certainly still overstate coverage and competition due to biases in the FCC data collection process that systematically overstate availability.
“Rochester and its surrounding rural communities have too few affordable and reliable Internet service options,” says Christopher Mitchell, director of the Community Broadband Networks initiative at ILSR. “While the urban center does hold some broadband competition, Rochester certainly needs additional investment to nurture local businesses and ensure the high quality-of-life Rochester residents expect.” Mitchell moved to Rochester at 14 and attended Mayo High School.
If you're interested in learning more about Internet access in and around Rochester, Minnesota and the benefits of community broadband networks from Christopher Mitchell, please email back here or schedule an interview through Jess Del Fiacco at 612-540-5997.
About Christopher Mitchell:
Christopher Mitchell is the Director of the Community Broadband Networks initiative with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Mitchell leads the acclaimed MuniNetworks.org as part of ILSR's effort to ensure broadband networks are directly accountable to the communities that depend upon them. He is a leading national expert on community networks, advising high-ranking broadband decision-makers and speaking on radio and television programs across the United States.
FOR MORE INFORMATION and to schedule an interview with Christopher, call Jess Del Fiacco at 612-540-5997 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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