Sitting at number 29 on our list of best-connected states, Utah’s broadband performance is relatively average. Utah has a state-wide average download speed of 58.2 Mbps, as well as 139 available providers.
There is an evenly spread broadband footprint across the state, with the exception of two areas. When compared to the rest of Utah’s counties, the populations of San Juan and Daggett both have limited access to internet speeds higher than 25 Mbps.
Those who live in the larger metropolitan areas of Utah (such as Salt Lake City) have a significant advantage over smaller communities as they have many more service providers, as well as faster available speeds.
The Digital Divide in Utah
For any state, you can expect to see a significant gap between those with access to modern communication technology, and those without. This is what is known as a digital divide. Affordability and availability are two crucial factors to consider when examining the digital divide for a given area.
According to our latest affordability data, only 26.3% of Utah’s population has access to a standalone wired broadband internet plan under $60 per month. Even though there are 21 states with a lower ranking for overall performance, 12 of those states have a higher percentage of the population with access to affordable wired 25 Mbps plans.
In terms of availability, Utah’s broadband performance excels. 96.1% of Utahns have access to a 25 Mbps wired internet connection. This is a massive percentage; however, 108,000 people still don’t have access to a wired connection capable of the same speed. Additionally, 45,000 people in Utah don’t have access to any wired internet providers at all. Nonetheless, this is a relatively small number, considering over 3 million people are currently living in the state.
The cities in Utah with the best overall broadband ecosystem (in descending order) are Salt Lake City, Ogden, Provo, Centerville, and Linden. All five of these cities have 100% broadband coverage as well as low-priced plan availability.
At the other end of the spectrum, the worst-connected towns in Utah include Duck Green Village, Garrison, Grouse creek, Mount Carmel, and Kingston (lowest ranking listed last.) These towns have no access to a wired connection and have very low average download speeds.
Utah prides itself on having “one of the youngest, most technologically savvy” workforces in the country. This is largely due to the numerous federal grants that have been awarded towards the goal of improving the state’s broadband infrastructure.
Since 2010, The The Utah Broadband Plan (formerly known as The State of Utah Broadband Project) has been awarded $5,196,025 in federal grants towards the “broadband expansion” of Utah’s educational and medical systems. However, This is only one specific example, since 2011 an additional $31,048,683 has been awarded to various other broadband initiatives in Utah, aiding in boosting the states access to a wired connection of at least 10mbps from 90.2% to 97.8% of Utahns, over the last nine years.