Internet Research

An estimated 11% of Ottawa County residents don’t have broadband web

GRAND HAVEN, MI – Almost 11% of surveyed Ottawa County residents mentioned they don’t have broadband web.

And of these surveyed that do have web, 15% of them had speeds slower than Federal Communications Fee’s (FCC) minimal broadband threshold. That’s a threshold county officers say is outdated and far slower than a brand new really useful business customary.

Ottawa County officers say the recently-released survey confirms what that they had identified: that there are web protection gaps throughout the county.

The survey, known as the Broadband Knowledge Assortment Survey, acquired 3,940 responses and was meant to seize a extra correct image of web accessibility and create higher broadband availability maps.

It’s step one in a multi-phase course of by the county and its companions known as the Digital Inclusion Technique to enhance entry to high-speed and inexpensive broadband web throughout the complete county.

“It was important for us to start with our personal statistically validated research of broadband entry wants as a result of we wouldn’t have time to attend for the FCC or state to appropriate their information units,” mentioned Paul Sachs, director of Ottawa County’s Division of Strategic Influence. “To deal with our county’s broadband entry inequities now, we would have liked higher maps.”

Associated: West Michigan county may construct, lease web infrastructure to convey broadband to all

The survey, which launched final summer season, was carried out by Ann Arbor-based web analysis and academic group Advantage Community, Inc. The county and its companions funded the work.

Particulars of the survey have been made obtainable final week, on April 22.

Of the ten.5% of respondents who mentioned they lack broadband entry, 72% of them mentioned there are not any web providers obtainable to their tackle. The remaining 26% mentioned the worth is simply too excessive.

Utilizing the survey outcomes, Ottawa County officers estimate that 11,737 of the county’s roughly 111,785 households don’t have any entry to fastened, high-speed web.

Almost all of these with out broadband web, about 97%, mentioned they’d be prepared to pay between $25-$101 for service if it was obtainable.

For the 89.5% of respondents with broadband, slightly below half, or about 40%, mentioned they’re glad with present supplier choices.

In keeping with the FCC, an web connection should have a minimal obtain pace of 25 megabits per second (Mbps) and an add pace of three Mbps to qualify as broadband.

About 74% of respondents had web service at or above that customary. About 15% with web have been under it.

Solely 15% of respondents had service speeds above 100 Mbps for obtain and 20 Mbps add. County officers say that pace is the minimal really useful customary from business consultants and the U.S. Congress.

The survey highlighted nice discrepancies with current FCC information, which vastly overestimated the % of households with web speeds at that 100 Mbps obtain/20 Mbps add customary.

“Virtually everyone within the business agrees that the FCC information is inaccurate. Even the FCC admits it,” mentioned Douglas Weber, president of City Wi-fi Options, one of many companions on the county’s Digital Inclusion Technique.

The following section of the work entails drafting plans on how the county and people within the personal and nonprofit sectors might convey inexpensive broadband throughout the county.

“We all know it’s not economically possible to put fiber to each residence and enterprise throughout the county,” Weber mentioned. “With wi-fi in some cases delivering speeds akin to fiber, it could be less expensive.”

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