Arkansas comes 41st in the nation’s state broadband access ranking. This relatively low ranking is closely related to the fact that over 20% of Arkansans remain without access to a wired broadband connection capable of 25 Mbps speeds or faster. Additionally, only 11.7% of the population has access to fiber-optic internet services, which is less than half of the national average of 25% of consumers with access to fiber internet. Still, when compared with some of the other lower-ranking states in the USA, Arkansas has a relatively fast average download speed of 104.1 Mbps.
The Digital Divide in Arkansas
As is the case with almost every part of the US, access to high internet speeds at affordable prices is not equally available to of Arkansas’ residents. This creates a ‘digital divide’ between people in Arkansas who have access to the latest internet technology and those who do not.
For example, while there are 136 internet providers operating in Arkansas, 214,000 people do not have access to a wired broadband connection at their place of residence, and another 563,000 people only have access to one wired internet provider at their location. Further, while 77.7% of Arkansans have access to a wired broadband connection with speeds of 25 Mbps or faster, 530,000 people do not have broadband capable of such speeds.
However, affordability data reveals that 52.7% of Arkansas’ residents are able to access what constitutes a ‘low-priced’ internet plan, costing $60 or less per month. This is slightly over the national average of 51.5% of American consumers with access to this type of internet plan pricing.
In Arkansas, the best-connected cities are Little Rock, Fort Smith, Lowell, and Maumelle. These cities have the best combination of both high-speeds, widespread access, and low pricing. Little Rock is currently ranked number one with the best internet in the state.
On the flip side, the worst-connected cities in the state are Tilly, Blue Mountain, Ponca, and Clarkedale. At this time, Tilly has the worst internet in Arkansas with an average internet speed of just 7.99 Mbps.
To compare Arkansas’ internet statistics with other states nationwide, visit here.
Since 2010, federal grants amounting to $6,175,366 have gone toward broadband data and development within Arkansas. An additional $164,671,555 in federal grants have fueled broadband infrastructure statewide.
In 2019, current legislation issued an Arkansas State Broadband Plan with “goal of seeing 25 Mbps/3 Mbps broadband deployed to all population centers in Arkansas over 500 by the year 2022”.
The information above is acquired from both public and private datasets. Find out more about our data here.