If you live in the Twin Cities, your internet connection is slower and more expensive than small town Monticello due to a reliance on big national phone and cable companies. Over the past several years, communities in the Twin Cities have considered building a community owned broadband network to increase competition, lower prices, and ensure everyone has access to the connections required for success in the digital economy. The failure to do so is costing consumers millions and communities untold amounts in lost business opportunity.
This analysis examines broadband prices in the Minneapolis / St. Paul metro area of Minnesota and compares them to the community fiber network located 45 miles northwest of Minneapolis. Monticello’s prices and speeds are similar to other recent community fiber networks across the nation.
The most recent data shows that Monticello’s community owned network offers much faster connections at lower prices than the private sector operators in the Twin Cities. In our first chart, we compare similar levels of service from Monticello FiberNet, Qwest, Comcast, USIW Wi-Fi (Minneapolis only), and Clear Wi-Max wireless.
Read ongoing stories about these networks at ILSR’s site devoted to Community Broadband Networks. You can also subscribe to a once-per-week email with stories about community broadband networks.