The Knox Broadband Task Force recently conducted a survey to gauge broadband access, identify demand, and test internet speeds throughout the county. Data was collected online during May 2021, and 1,046 valid responses were received. 

“This information provides more accurate and specific data, which is important when applying for additional funding from federal and state broadband programs,” said Drew Garretson, co-chair of the Task Force. 

Key findings of the survey suggest that while close to 90% of survey respondents had internet access at home, almost half were not satisfied because it was too slow or unreliable. Almost 43% paid $75 or more per month while 38% are willing to pay between $50 and $74.99 per month for adequate, reliable internet. 

Home internet unsatisfaction was strongly correlated with technology type. A little more than one-third of respondents had technologies that struggle to offer faster, symmetrical speeds (e.g., DSL, satellite) or relied on cellular data plans that may be subject to data limits. In fact, the average number of internet uses was highest among cable and fiber users compared to other technologies. 

Half of seniors and 44% of elementary-age children living in households that responded the to survey had no home internet or connected through satellite, DSL, or cellular. 

About 53% of speed tests conducted failed to meet the 25/3 Mbps FCC broadband threshold. These speed tests were located all over the county with no clear spatial pattern or localized issue. 

Additional details can be found in the full report

The survey was prepared and conducted for Knox County by the Purdue University Center for Regional Development. 

Knox County Rural Broadband Study report