Without a modern, high quality network of infrastructure, a region cannot sustain economic activity, retain its students and workers, or attract visitors, tourists and investment. High-speed internet access has become a core requirement for economic development well beyond technology and business fields. It is now an expected service for most businesseses, governments, and educational institutions, even for activities like elementary school homework. This indicator measures the percent of the population with access to high speed internet, as defined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In 2015, the FCC increased the download speed standard for broadband, which is now 25Mbps.
Between 2013 and 2014, the percent of the population with access to high-speed internet remained stable, increasing just 0.5% (from 94.8 to 95.3%). This rate is just under the Massachusetts state average of 97%, and above the national average of 85.3 percent.
The FCC recently updated their standards and calculations on this measure. These new standards are not easily comparable to previous measures. For this reason, there is not yet trend data for 2015 and 2016. Future reports will provide trends based on this new standard.