Broadband Internet Access by State

Broadband Internet Access by State

Percentage of each State’s Population with Access to Broadband Internet The term “broadband internet” is used frequently in discussions about Internet access, but what does “broadband internet” actually mean? According to the FCC, to be called broadband internet download speeds must be 25 Mbps or higher. With this clear delineation, the question then becomes, “Who has access to broadband internet in the United States?” We compiled a ranked list of the states, and their respective broadband coverage. We also took a look at the largest metros across the USA, and ranked them based on broadband coverage. Broadband Coverage by State For this particular comparison, we took a look at which states had access to internet download speeds greater than or equal to 25 Mbps. Coverage percentage is based on population covered, not geographic coverage.   As you can see, the North East has a pretty dominant hold on broadband coverage, with Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Delaware all falling in the top 10 most covered states. The West and Midwest follow closely behind, with Washington, Utah, Nevada, California, and Oregon all falling in the top 15 covered states. 1. Rhode Island – 99.7% 2. New Jersey – 98.8% 3. Connecticut – 98.8% 4. District of Columbia – 98.3% 5. New York – 98% 6. Hawaii – 97% 7. Massachusetts – 97% 8. Washington – 96.8% 9. Utah – 96.2% 10. Delaware – 96% 11. Illinois – 95.3% 12. Nevada – 95.2% 13. Oregon – 94.3% 14. California – 94.3% 15. Florida – 94.2% 16. Maryland – 93.8% 17. Pennsylvania – 91.5% 18. North Carolina –...
Cyber Security & You: Surveying the Risks

Cyber Security & You: Surveying the Risks

  Your breath catches in your throat and a cold sweat breaks out across your brow. Your hands are trembling as you anticipate one of the most harrowing experiences of your life. No, it’s not taking the podium to deliver a speech. According to those in a recent survey we conducted, it’s the terrifying thought of identity theft. More than 64% percent of people we surveyed confessed they were more afraid of cyber crime than public speaking. Statistics indicate that fear is not misplaced. One in four of the people we surveyed reported that they, or someone they knew, had been hacked. Experts agree that’s a conservative estimate. Research by the Ponemon Institute revealed that in 2014, nearly 47% of American adults had their information exposed by hackers. When asked about their biggest perceived vulnerabilities when it comes to cyber crime, survey respondents said they feared identity theft by a wide margin. Baby boomers were especially concerned about the perils of their personal data being stolen. But should they be? The FBI reports that on average there are 1.5 million cyber attacks annually in the United States. Most of those are directed at larger businesses and government websites, where the vast majority occur as a result of malware and viruses. Certain behaviors, however, have been shown to carry a much greater danger of personal data breach. Let’s look at the patterns of risk that came up in our survey results and discuss simple steps you can take to protect yourself from the rising levels of cyber crime.   Public Wi-Fi It’s easy to pull up a table and a...
Why can I only get a few Internet providers?

Why can I only get a few Internet providers?

You’ve heard the rumors. Providers brag about lightning fast speeds, and streaming in HD without a whisper of latency. But where is this miraculous Internet service of your dreams? One that will allow you to live a fantasy digital life in the wonder of the cloud. The lone Internet Service Provider (ISP) provider in your area seems to bog down at the first sign of traffic, and if tech support tells you to reboot your modem one more time, you’re going to scream. Why isn’t there more choice and competition among Internet providers in your area? This isn’t an isolated issue. Most regions of the country are serviced by just a handful of big name broadband providers. Comcast, Cox and Time Warner Cable have massive footprints that loom over an inordinately large part of the map. When the FCC was considering approving a merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable back in 2015, The Huffington Post warned that we would be facing “The United States of Comcast”. Today’s ISP map isn’t too far off that assessment, with four major ISPs eating up tremendous slices of the high-speed Internet market. Statistics from the FCC indicate nearly 30 percent of Americans don’t have a choice when it comes to their Internet provider. Another large portion of the public, which estimates place at 37 percent, only have two options. To get a better handle on what Internet service across the United States looks like, visit the National Broadband Map, maintained by the FCC and the NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration). How did we end up here, with limited choice and virtually...
RCN vs. Verizon Internet Services

RCN vs. Verizon Internet Services

Compare High-Speed Internet Service Providers: Verizon vs. RCN Internet service providers are tripping over themselves to offer the best deals to customers. But when it comes to finding the perfect plan, price isn’t the only factor that consumers should consider. As you explore services like Verizon® FiOS and RCN cable Internet, don’t forget to look at which plans are available in your area and — more importantly — which provider offers plans that match your connectivity needs. To help you make an informed decision, this piece will take a look at some of the differences between Verizon and RCN Internet packages.   Overview and Availability Verizon FiOS and RCN Internet offer a similar range of packages, including TV, Internet, and Voice services. Both also scored the highest rating for overall satisfaction — an 8.3 out of 10 — when compared to other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in PCMag’s 2015 Readers’ Choice Awards.   RCN only covers a handful of metropolitan areas: New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and Lehigh Valley. Verizon, on the other hand, has expanded its FiOS® network into roughly 20 cities.   Speed and Pricing Though both companies seem equally matched on the surface, speed and pricing between the two providers can vary drastically depending on plan and location. RCN offers cable Internet plans with speeds up to 330 Mbps for just $54.99 per month for the first 12 months on a 36-month contract in select areas. This is an ideal package for HD streaming, online gaming, and video conferencing, as it can handle more than four connected devices at any one time. Other speeds,...
2016’s Best Internet Providers in Customer Satisfaction

2016’s Best Internet Providers in Customer Satisfaction

Finding the best Internet speeds at an affordable price can be an elusive endeavor. Take heart, though, because we’re here to help. We asked thousands of high-speed Internet customers to rate their providers based on several key areas of satisfaction. From ease of installation to superior customer service, from blistering speeds to affordable monthly pricing, we mined the ins and outs of a complicated industry to bring an informed perspective to your choice for internet service. Now, we’re ready to announce the best of 2016’s Internet providers. But first, some background info. Our survey asked the following questions: Who is your Internet service provider? How satisfied are you with your Internet service installation and setup? (Fees, scheduling, etc.) How satisfied are you with your Internet speed? How satisfied are you with your Internet’s reliability and uptime? How satisfied are you with your monthly Internet bill? How satisfied are you with your Internet provider’s technical support and customer service?   Or skip to overall ratings   Because we do sell cable and Internet service, we teamed up with a third-party to ensure our results were objective, unbiased, and representative of Internet service customers. We compared the following major brands and types of service: Cable Internet providers: Brighthouse, CableONE, Charter (Spectrum), Cox Communications, Mediacom, Optimum, RCN, Suddenlink, Time Warner Cable, XFINITY from Comcast Satellite Internet providers: DishNET, Exede, HughesNet DSL Internet providers: AT&T, Centurylink, Frontier, Verizon Fiber Internet providers: AT&T U-Verse, CenturyLink Prism, FiOS from Frontier, Verizon FiOS We’ve separated the types of service (Fiber and DSL) for providers who offer both because satisfaction can vary based on the type of Internet customers utilized. Want more...
2016 Presidential Candidates Weigh in on the Future of the Internet

2016 Presidential Candidates Weigh in on the Future of the Internet

Where do the current candidates fall when it comes to internet policy? In 2015, flooded by petitions of overwhelming public support, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)  ruled in favor of Net Neutrality. This decision effectively classified broadband as a utility, subject to government regulations that ensure fair access to the public. The Internets, which had been vocal in opposition to monetizing faster speeds and better access, gave a collective sigh of relief. A battle had been won, but the fight to keep the Internet free continues. Barack Obama, referred to by Fortune as our “digitizer in chief,” has been a champion for Net Neutrality. Earlier this month, he threatened to use his veto power to shut down another Republican-led assault on the unfettered Internet. This conservative offensive comes in the form of House Bill 2666, known as the “No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access.” And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Masterminded by telecommunications industry lobbyists, the bill would undermine current FCC efforts to classify broadband as a utility and exempt the industry from rate regulations. Obama’s not letting this one get by on his watch, but his time in the executive seat of veto power is nearly up. What does the future of the Internet look like under the next President? And how do the candidates view hot button topics like cyber security, broadband access, and the controversial NSA’s domestic surveillance program. The opinions on these issues from 2016’s presidential candidates are as varied as the rainbow, from supportive to misinformed to eerily silent. Let’s take a tour of the politicians whose opinions have the power...
Choosing Between DSL Internet or Fiber

Choosing Between DSL Internet or Fiber

DSL or Fiber: Find the Right One for You Internet access is crucial to modern life, but finding the right service can be complicated and confusing. There are lots of different options to choose from, each with their own pros and cons. While there is no perfect Internet plan for everyone, there are options to meet the needs of every lifestyle and every kind of user. To find the best option in your area, check out this side-by-side comparison of two popular types of Internet: DSL and fiber. Network Overview The fundamentals of data transmission are the same for both Internet types: information is sent back and forth between the user and the Internet Service Provider (ISP) via a network of wires. However, the type of wires carrying the data and the way signals get transmitted differ from service to service. DSL DSL stands for “Digital Subscriber Line,” which essentially means that the service uses copper phone lines to transmit electronic data between your computer and the wider Internet. There are two variants of DSL: ADSL (asymmetric) and SDSL (symmetric). ADSL — the most common connection type for residential setups — allows you to use your telephone line for both landline calls and Internet access, while SDSL uses the whole connection for Internet access, resulting in faster upload speeds at the expense of voice services. It is worth noting that DLS’s electronic signals can degrade as they travel, meaning that service quality may be affected by the distance between the ISP’s hub and the user-end termination point. Further, any electromagnetic interference or damage to phone line infrastructure may cause...
The Best Fiber Internet Options in the United States

The Best Fiber Internet Options in the United States

From the inexpensive DSL to popular cable, there’s an Internet option for any user’s preference. One of the newer and lesser known options is fiber Internet. Instead of running through a phone line or cable cord, fiber-optic Internet data is carried by light through glass fiber cables as thin as a human hair. Information can travel at lightning fast speeds over long distances, resulting in a high-speed connection. For those interested in fiber Internet, this article will provide a more in-depth look at fiber services and explore offerings from some of the bigger providers in the industry.   The Benefits of Fiber Internet The top benefit of fiber Internet is its high-speed capacity. Subscribers can reach download speeds of up to 1 Gigabit per second, which is around 100 times faster than the standard 11.7 Mbps most U.S. consumers have. This makes fiber Internet ideal for subscribers who frequently stream HD movies, download large files, and play web-based games. If a user wanted to download a two-hour HD movie — a file size between 3 and 4.5 GB — with a 5 Mbps broadband Internet connection, for example, it would take 72 minutes to download the file. Even if a subscriber could reliably get speeds up to 20 Mbps, such a sizeable download would still take 60 minutes. With a 1 Gbps fiber connection, however, the file would be downloaded in just 25 seconds. Additionally, fiber Internet is extremely reliable — more so than DSL, satellite, and cable. This is largely because fiber Internet is what is called a “passive system” that doesn’t require power to be applied within...
4 Ways to Stream MLB Games for the 2016 Season

4 Ways to Stream MLB Games for the 2016 Season

MLB season is upon us, and the cord-cutting trend means more people than ever are looking for ways to watch games outside of their normal cable subscription. There are several ways to catch your favorite team on the diamond this year, and we are here to help you choose the best solution for you.   MLB.tv MLB.tv has a lot to offer avid MLB fans with several subscription levels available, the highest tier being a $110 yearly subscription, with an optional $10 Follow Your Team add-on coming in the near future. They also are making it possible to stream all 2,430 regular season games, but unfortunately, these are not available to everyone. As with many streaming options, the devil is in the details, and if you read closely they make it clear you only get access to out-of-market games. Because of the contracts the MLB signs with broadcasting networks, your MLB.tv is subject to many blackouts for local teams. MLB.tv is pretty upfront with these blackouts, just here to search by zipcode and see which teams you will have blacked out in your area. There is also a list of games blacked out nationwide. Check this  to make sure your favorite rivalry game doesn’t fall into this category either. These games are blacked out because they are classified as nationally televised games available to everyone. See a general map of team blackout areas below: Image pulled from Wikipedia One of the advantages of MLB.tv is the wide range of devices it is available on. They tout up to 400 devices are compatible, including popular options like Apple TV, Roku,...