Report: Washington's high-speed Internet improved in 2012

A majority of Washington communities saw better access to high-speed Internet in 2012, according to the 2012 Annual Broadband Report from the Washington State Broadband Office.

Last year, more than 500 of the state’s 629 Census-designated communities saw increased access to broadband through wireline and/or wireless providers.

Washington now ranks tenth in the nation for access at 3 megabits per second, and third in broadband adoption.

“These statistics are encouraging and the result of some great work across the public and private sectors,” said Rogers Weed, director of the state Department of Commerce, in a press release. “Washington will need to continually improve its technology infrastructure to keep its place as a national innovation leader.”

The report is the third annual report on the state’s broadband network and includes data based on the National Broadband Map, which is compiled from information gathered by the Broadband Office. The report also includes the progress of five Local Technology Planning Teams working under grants from the Broadband Office and the results of the Office’s Evergreen Apps Challenge, which encouraged the use of public data for the common good.

Additional highlights include:

– 98.7 percent of the state’s residents live in areas where broadband is available, 83 percent of the state’s population live in households with Internet access and 73.8 percent of the state’s population regularly use their home broadband connection.

– Gross business income from broadband-enabled electronic shopping in Washington grew for the third-straight year, topping $3.1 billion in 2011.

– Washington is second only to California in the number of “apps economy” jobs at 49,800 in April of 2012.

The report also contains recommendations of the Broadband Advisory Council for continuing the growth and evolution of broadband networks and their use.

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