August 2012 Map of the Month – Contrasting Highest Known Speed and Market Challenges For Utah Communities – Updated October 25, 2012

Pete CodellaBroadband

The fifth installment in our Map of the Month series…

Click to view map

One of the main goals of the Utah Broadband Project is to identify, and raise awareness to decision makers, the unserved and underserved communities across the state. As rural and/or low income areas are thought to be the most likely to be missed by higher capacity broadband, we’ve created the August Map of the Month to highlight the relationship between market challenges and broadband capacity.

For the August Map of the Month, the Project took a closer look two important broadband-related indicators for Utah’s 2010 census designated communities.

  • Highest Known Broadband Speed (denoted by color). The highest known wireline-based or wireless-based download speed in each community was derived from an examination of both broadband provider-submitted maximum advertised speeds as well as data reported to the Project from community anchor institutions such as Utah Education Network (UEN) served schools, hospitals, and government offices that utilized the state network services. If you see a speed value that we need to update, please let us know by email.
  • Market Challenges (denoted by circle size). 

    The Market Challenge score was created by combining the two USDA Community Connect broadband grant point scoring criteria, shown in the right column of the tables above.

    This was calculated using the USDA Community Connect broadband grant program’s scoring system that sums an economic need and rurality score. Economic need points are assigned to communities at less than 75% of the state median household income, with more points (up to 30) awarded to those with lower median incomes. Rurality points (up to 40) are assigned based on the community’s 2010 census population. Populated places in Utah that are not recognized by the Census and therefore do not have a market challenge score are represented by small squares.

The Market Challenge score reflects the potential number of subscribers and the general economic means found within a community. Both of these factors are shown graphically on the map using dot size. It is easy to see some correlation between broadband speed and market challenge. However, other factors, clearly play a role. These may include the cost (distance, permitting requirements, terrain, etc) to existing fiber trunk lines, the existence of public institutions and private sector firms that serve as anchor tenants that drive broadband availability, use of state-operated microwave backhaul links, and other factors.

Communities names are shown on the map only where the highest known download speed is less than 10 Mbps and are color-coded according to speed.

A list of all Utah Census-designated communities together with their highest known download speed, population, median household income, USDA rurality score, and USDA economic need score values is available in this online spreadsheet. The spreadsheet can be sorted by hovering the cursor over the column header (A, B, C etc), and, from the pull down list, choosing one of the Sort sheet options.