Many pockets of the state lack broadband Internet access, FCC data show

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About 16 percent of the state, geographically speaking, lacks access to broadband Internet access, according to June 2015 filings with the Federal Communication Commission.

At the town level things look pretty good.

Every town has some amount of broadband Internet access.

Broadband is defined as an Internet connection that provides speeds of 25 Mbps when downloading and 3 Mbps when uploading, and every town is serviced by at least one Internet service provider that offers much faster speeds than that minimum bar: the slowest maximum advertised speed available in a town was 75 Mbps stream in just five towns: Montville, Waterford, Sterling, Killingly, New London.

The rest of the towns in the state have maximum advertised Internet speeds of at least 100 Mbps. (We only looked at consumer-level plans for this analysis, but much faster, but more expensive business-level service, 1,000 Mbps up- and downstream, is available in at least parts of every town).

It isn’t until parsing the data out into tiny geographic areas that we can see the scope of the problem.

The data are made up of FCC Form 477 responses submitted by Internet service providers to the federal agencies about what kind of service they provide to U.S. Census Bureau-defined blocks, the smallest geographic area the bureau defines. They aren’t all necessarily populated, but we only included areas where Internet access was available, to weed out open space or other unpopulated places.

Out of 66,099 Census blocks, 10,951 had maximum available speeds lower than the federal broadband definition. 10,486 of those had areas had maximum advertised speeds of 15 Mbps.

North Stonington had the highest percentage of blocks with slow Internet speeds: 52 percent.

While many of the towns with a large portion of slow-Internet blocks are less densely populated, Hartford had a relatively high 27 percent and New Haven had 23 percent.

Trend CT previously reported that Connecticut ranks high compared with other states in terms of the number of people who report they have some kind of Internet access home, regardless of speed.

Check our work — Analysis for this story is available here. While it may be too technical for some readers, we encourage those who are interested to look over our work, let us know if we have made any mistakes, and expand on it for their own research.

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