North Carolina has Worst Broadband In Country at 17%

(This information was manually converted to html from the original pdf which can be found here. It was created by the SouthEast Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (SETOA).)


Although access to affordable, fast broadband connections now determines economic, health, and educational opportunities and even public safety, North Carolina ranks dead last.

According to a June 2013 report issued by the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau, North Carolina ranks dead last – superseded even by Mississippi now- with only 17% of its households subscribing to the level of broadband the FCC deems necessary to engage in modern life.

First the industry asked the NC legislature to be deregulated, and they did, terminating local build-out requirements. Then they asked the legislature to stop municipalities from providing broadband, and so they did. And THIS IS WHAT WE GOT. Worst broadband in the country.

The legislative experiments have failed.

Time to reverse them.

State At least 3/768 Mbps
(advertised) Connection
(in thousands)
New Jersey 2,436 3,215 0.76
Massachusetts 1,914 2,549 0.75
Maryland 1,503 2,156 0.7
Delaware 240 347 0.69
District of Columbia 175 268 0.65
New Hampshire 339 519 0.65
Vermont 156 256 0.61
Colorado 1,217 2005 0.61
Washington 1,608 2,657 0.61
Virginia 1,855 3,079 0.6
Connecticut 799 1,372 0.58
Pennsylvania 2,896 5,025 0.58
Utah 508 903 0.56
Oregon 854 1,539 0.55
Arizona 1,220 2,440 0.54
New York 3,939 7,345 0.54
Florida 3,830 7,463 0.51
Nevada 511 1,027 0.5
West Virginia 373 766 0.49
South Dakota 153 326 0.47
Minnesota 1,017 2,097 0.48
Michigan 1,775 3,848 0.46
Nebraska 328 727 0.45
California 5,609 12,712 0.44
Wyoming 102 231 0.44
Illinois 2,150 4,861 0.44
Georgia 1,542 3,648 0.42
Indiana 1,042 2,516 0.41
North Dakota 117 283 0.41
Tennessee 996 2,522 0.39
Montana 157 415 0.38
Kentucky 658 1,732 0.38
302 806 0.37
Alaska 88 260 0.34
Kansas 366 1,121 0.33
Texas 3,024 9,113 0.33
Idaho 180 593 0.3
Louisiana 535 1,756 0.3
Wisconsin 682 2,289 0.3
Alabama 564 1,902 0.3
534 1,831 0.29
Missouri 693 2,390 0.29
Maine 147 556 0.26
Oklahoma 416 1,476 0.25
Iowa 302 1,231 0.25
Arkansas 294 1,159 0.25
Ohio 1,154 4,597 0.25
Mississippi 237 1,120 0.21
North Carolina 668 3,818 0.17

Source: FCC Wireline Competition Bureau, Internet Access Services, June 2013, status as of June 30, 2012; based on Form 477 data provided by industry service providers. Note: PDF source is Internet Access Services: Status as of June 30, 2012, Industry Analysis and Technology Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, May 2013, Table 13 titled Residential Fixed Connections (Approximating the National Broadband Availability Target) and Households by State as of June 30, 2012.

Update: June 24, 2013 – I added a link to the FCC pdf that is the source of the data in the table above. -BrianR
Update #2: Added “(in thousands)” to the Households column to more acuartly reflect FCC document.

5 thoughts on “North Carolina has Worst Broadband In Country at 17%

  1. Hi Brian! What is the level of broadband which the FCC deems sufficient? I’m curious about the metric used, because that percentage seems surprisingly low.

    1. In 2010 the FCC changed the broadband speed benchmark from 200 kbps to 4/1 Mbps (4Mbps up & 1Mbps down). Doesn’t it seem pretty ludicrous that 200 kbps was the benchmark in 2010? 4/1 Mbps is crazy now too IMHO.

  2. Great post! Add (in thousands) to the households column of the table for clarity. It is on the FCC’s table.

  3. Thanks for posting this Brian! I don’t know the metrics in international studies, but if they’re similar, North Carolina ranks somewhere between Bulgaria and Poland in broadband access. We’re getting beat by the former Soviet bloc and aren’t that far ahead of some places that were considered third world until fairly recently.

    I posted a couple of comments on Facebook threads about this topic that I thought I would repost here:

    “I wish I had more hope for wireless coverage, but right now, there are still plenty of places in NC without LTE access. It’s also prohibitively expensive for a lot of people. Verizon’s lowest tier, for example, is 10GB for $60 a month. Watching three HD movies on Netflix would blow through that entire bandwidth allocation. It might be an option for people who do light web browsing, but not someone viewing multimedia content or trying to run a small business. I ran the numbers a couple of months ago – if our household (two people, but includes my home office) were to have our access through Verizon Wireless instead of Time Warner, our bill would have been $6,410 for the month of May. Again, it probably works for some people, but for many, wireless doesn’t even come close.”

    “Another case in point: realizing she would have access to neither cable, DSL, nor wireless data service, I think my business partner has all but abandoned plans to relocate to her family homestead in rural Buncombe County, at least until access becomes available. Satellite services are just too slow, especially for uploads, and she can’t rely on a service that goes down when there’s bad weather. The information economy simply can’t function without cheap, fast internet.”

  4. Time Warner Cable is the main provider where I live and they are HORRIBLE! I pay over $60 a month for 3rd world nation internet speeds. On top of that, my internet goes out on a daily basis due to Time Warner Cable’s ignorance and greed. We need more ISP’s to help with the duopoly this area faces with ISP’s. Time Warner Cable can afford to offer sub-par service because about the only other ISP around here is Windstream and they are even worse! These companies have no motivation to offer a better product because people are stuck using them if they want internet access around here…. We need to increase the ISP supply to better match the ISP demand, that will bring about better and faster service…

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