Update: 2017 Broadband Access in Indiana

Posted by Roberto Gallardo on June 04, 2019, in Broadband.

The Federal Communications Commission recently released their latest broadband deployment report using data from December 2017. Internet providers are required to file a report using form 477 twice per year on broadband access. While this dataset is known to have issues, including being carrier self-reported, not granular enough (aggregates housing units into Census blocks), and showcasing advertised rather than actual speeds, it is the only broadband-related dataset available for the United States.

This dataset includes among other metrics, broadband technology available in that particular Census block (DSL, Cable, Fiber, etc.) as well as maximum advertised download and upload speeds. This in turn allows us to map the current broadband definition of 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) down and 3 Mbps up, or 25/3 for short, footprint for the state of Indiana.

Map below shows the 25/3 footprint in Indiana—excluding satellite—by technology as of December 2017. Red areas indicate fiber is available while yellow areas indicate any cable technology available. Green indicates fixed wireless while light purple shows where DSL is available. Consider that since the fiber layer is on top, this does not mean other technologies are also available where fiber is shown.

Map 1

When all is said and done, about 673,000 Hoosiers or 10 percent of the 2017 population lacked access to fixed 25/3 (white areas in the map) as of December 2017. In housing units, about 275,500 or 9.6 percent lacked access to fixed 25/3.

Map below shows the inverse of the 25/3 footprint. In other words, it shows the Census blocks where 25/3 was not available as well as the number of housing units in that particular block. Darker orange denotes blocks with 50 or more housing units unserved by 25/3. The gray area denotes parts of the state where 25/3 was available.

A pattern is visible where towns and cities do have access to advertised 25/3 but the surrounding areas in that county do not. For example, notice Rush or Knox counties.

Map 1

In order to better understand this urban-rural dynamic, the graph below shows Indiana neighborhoods (Census block groups) divided into: completely urban (more than 99 percent of residents lived in urbanized areas), mostly urban (51 to 99 percent lived in urbanized areas), mostly rural (1 to 50 percent lived in urbanized areas), and completely rural (less than 1 percent lived in urbanized areas).

Note how 99 percent of housing units in completely urban neighborhoods had access to 25/3 compared to 62 percent of housing units in completely rural neighborhoods. Overall, 90.4 percent of housing units in the state had access to advertised 25/3.

Chart 1

Download a county list of percent of housing units by neighborhood type with access to 25/3 by clicking below.

Download the list (PDF)

In our next post, we look at how this 25/3 coverage has changed between 2014 and 2017 in Indiana as well as the footprint using a symmetrical 25/25 and 1,000/1,000 broadband definition along with access to multiple broadband technologies (DSL, Cable, Fiber, etc.)

Key takeaways (as of December 2017):

  • 10.1 percent or 673,307 of Hoosiers lacked access to 25/3
  • 9.6 percent or 275,522 housing units lacked access to 25/3
  • 38 percent of completely rural housing units in the state lacked access to 25/3