North Dakota ranks as best connected state gigabit broadband availability, according to a new report from

North Dakota broadband providers offer gigabit service to 60.58% of residential locations in the state — the highest percentage in the nation, according to the research. The average North Dakota household’s annual expenditure on telecom services is $1,670.25, which is nine dollars less than the national average ($1,679.96), indicating that residents are getting good value for their broadband expenditures.

Neighboring Minnesota has the second highest availability of gigabit broadband speeds with the service available to 60.41% of residential locations, according to the report. Though the percentage is close to that of North Dakota, Minnesota residents pay significantly more for their broadband, with the average annual bill for telecom services at $1,840.70.

Much further south than the top two states, Tennessee places a distant third for residential access to gigabit broadband – 48.28% of properties can get it – and possibly at a low cost, with the state’s average annual spend on telecom services at $1,544.13.

The other states in the top 10 are (in order) Utah, Connecticut, Texas, Nebraska, Kentucky, Kansas and Indiana.

Broadband access is improving across the country thanks to many private initiatives as well as several government programs.

“This data offers a fascinating insight into the nation’s connectivity, a spokesperson said in a prepared statement about the gigabit broadband availability research. “As society becomes ever more reliant on the internet, the importance of good fixed and mobile broadband infrastructure becomes increasingly important.

“Many people want to fully embrace the benefits that the internet can bring, whether that is upgrading their home with smart tech, enjoying instant high-quality entertainment, or taking their business to the next level, and this data shows that those things are more accessible in some states than in others.” 

It’s worth noting that the data apparently includes gigabit service from fiber broadband, hybrid fiber coax and fixed wireless providers. Researchers included service with upload speeds of 10 Mbps or higher.

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