Mobile internet use in Minnesota: Residential report


Connect Minnesota released results of two surveys this week. Residential use of mobile broadband and business use. There are a couple of observations that seem to emerge in both reports – such as rural use lags urban use – but otherwise I think the reports are different enough to merit two posts. This post is about the residential use.

Here are some of their highlights…

  • 51% of Minnesota adults use mobile Internet service, up from 39% a year ago.
  • This includes 6% who use mobile Internet service instead of subscribing to broadband at home.
  • Among Minnesotans who use mobile Internet and subscribe to home broadband service, 13% say they use their home broadband service less frequently now that they have mobile Internet.
  • Minnesotans who use mobile Internet but do not subscribe to traditional home broadband service are younger, have a lower median household income, and are more likely to reside in rural areas of the state than Minnesotans with home broadband subscriptions.
  • Approximately 557,000 cell phone owners cite wanting to access the Internet while away from home as their main reason for using mobile Internet service.

The report is sort of the good, bad and the ugly.

The good

  • There’s a great increase in mobile use
  • Some people use mobile access only. I suspect that mobile is a stepping stone either bridging costs or access. So it’s good to see mobile filling that gap.

The bad

  • There are still a lot of people who don’t use mobile access to the Internet.
  • Top reasons for non-use seem to be cost and disinterest. Twenty-six percent say they have no interest – 20 percent say monthly cost, 6 percent say phones are too expensive and 10 percent say their current phone isn’t capable, which seems cost related to me. (Other potentially cost-related reasons – 3 percent don’t want a long-term contract and 1 percent have issues with data-caps.)
  • Thirty-four percent of mobile broadband users have surpassed their data-cap at least once.

The ugly

  • Median income ($43,700) of mobile-only access is less than half of income of mobile and home broadband subscribers ($90,400).
  • Twice as many rural areas (46 percent) have mobile only than have both mobile and home access.