The mile-high state of Colorado is fairly average when it comes to internet connectivity and high-speed access when compared to other states. It is the 25th most connected state in the U.S. Overall, internet connection is spread relatively equally across the state, however, the southwest corner boasts the highest availability percentage of gigabit internet. In Colorado, the statewide average download speed is currently 70.5 Mbps.
The Digital Divide in Colorado
In order to calculate the digital divide, two main aspects need to be taken into consideration: public internet availability and affordability.
le most of the state of Colorado has access to a 25 Mbps wired internet connection, (92.9% of the population to be exact), 397,000 people still do not have access to a wired connection capable of achieving the same speeds. On top of this, another 173,000 people don’t have access to a wired internet connection at all in the area in which they live.
When it comes to broadband affordability, Colorado is struggling to keep up with the rest of the U.S. According to our latest affordability data, only a mere 3% of Colorado’s residents have access to a standalone internet plan under $60 per month. Of all 50 states, there are only 3 states that perform worse in this category.
In Colorado, Longmont is currently the most connected town in the state. 100% of Longmont’s 117,461 residents have affordable internet plans costing less than $60/mo available to them. Additionally, 95% of that population has access to wired high-speed internet options.
Of the larger cities in Colorado Littleton is number one. This thriving metropolis shares the same sprawling broadband coverage as Longmont, with an even better wired connection availability of 98%.
Internet for Rural Areas in Colorado
On the flip-side of the coin, Monarch is the worst-connected town in Colorado. The 10 people living in Monarch have no access to a wired connection, meaning that the fastest speed they can acquire is 25 Mbps from a satellite provider.
In 2010 the Colorado government installed the Colorado Broadband Data and Development Program. This program was designed in order to collect data to better serve the needs of the Colorado public, as well as give greater broadband access to rural areas of the state, and “ensure that all students in Colorado have access to scalable infrastructure, high-speed affordable bandwidth, and ubiquitous Wi-Fi for digital learning.”
Since its creation, The Colorado Broadband Data and Development program has been awarded $5,382,082 in federal grants towards the state’s broadband initiative. In addition, The Colorado Government has also awarded an additional $112,772,612 (3.2% of all federal infrastructure grants) to various other broadband infrastructure projects throughout the state.
These government initiatives have proven to be successful. Since 2011 access to a wired connection of at least 10 Mbps has made a considerable leap from 78.6% to almost 97% of Colorado residents.
The information above is taken from a mix of public and private datasets. More about our data here.