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Nobody really knows now how widespread broadband is currently in rural America, but comScore, a market research firm, reports that broadband penetration in rural markets is growing at a faster rate than in the cities. The company says that over the last two years, broadband penetration in rural places has increased 16 percent, but only 11 percent in metro areas. comScore says that the rural broadband penetration rate is 75 percent, well below the national rate of 89 percent. In comScore’s study, a rural market had a population of less than 10,000 and metropolitan areas had populations greater than 50,000. The in-between areas grew at a rate of 14 percent over the last two years.
“Across the country we have witnessed growth in broadband adoption driven by greater price competition and increased consumer demand, as bandwidth-intense activities like video streaming and peer-to-peer sharing continue to grow,” said Brian Jurutka, comScore vice president of telecommunications, in a statement “With low-speed DSL priced at about the same level as dial-up in many areas, there is little incentive for households to remain on dial-up.”
The Pew Internet Project shows a much lower rate of broadband adoption, which is what really matters.