Coming in at number 36 on a list of the most connected states, Arizona is on the low-end of average in terms of overall performance. While the Grand Canyon State certainly isn’t without its connection faults, it has its advantages as well. Arizona has a state-wide average download speed of 66.1 Mbps, which is excellent considering that there are 21 higher-ranking states with a lower average speed.
The entire state enjoys a relatively high connection percentage, with the exception of the northeast corner of the state. One county in particular, Apache County, has staggeringly low broadband coverage. While it is mostly made up of rural desert, 71,606 people still call this area of Arizona home. However, only 0.16% of those people have access to download speeds of 25 Mbps.
The Digital Divide in Arizona
The term “digital divide” is one that is often used to describe a gap between specific regions or groups with or without access to modern communication technology. For Arizona, affordability and availability were two vital factors that we took into consideration when we determined the digital divide. That being said, there are currently 755,000 Arizonans without access to a wired connection capable of 25 Mbps, and 862,000 residents that only have access to one internet provider.
According to our latest affordability data, only 8.7% of Arizona residents have access to a standalone internet plan under $60 per month. Though that percentage is relatively low, high-speed internet availability makes up for lack of affordable plans. 88.7% of Arizonans have access to wired broadband speeds of 25 Mbps, and 87% have access to 100 Mbps or faster.
For the best-connected cities in Arizona, we created two categories. One for large metropolitan cities and another for smaller towns.
In Arizona, Gilbert is currently the best-connected of the larger cities. Every one of the city’s 211,167 residents has access to at least two internet service providers as well as affordable stand-alone internet plans starting under $60/mo.
Of the smaller towns, Lake Havasu City is number one on the list. It has the same 100% broadband coverage as Gilbert, however, unlike its sister-city, 99% of Lake Havasu City residents have a wired connection available to them.
In contrast, The tiny town of Eden is last on the list. The 21 people who live there have no access to a wired internet connection, leaving them with the only satellite or fixed-wireless options.
Over the past ten years, Arizona’s state government has supported the improvement of broadband infrastructure by awarding various grants. For example, between 2010 and 2015, Thea Digital Arizona Program was awarded $6,358,179 infederal grants towards the overall improvement of the public digital connection. Additionally, $71,464,944 (2.1% of all federal infrastructure grants) was given to numerous other broadband improvement projects.
This government aid has helped to raise Arizona’s access to a wired connection of at least 10 Mbps from 90.1% to 92.8%, since 2011.
The information above is taken from a mix of public and private datasets. More about our data here.