Download the full report.
I’ve published the final report on regional broadband resources, prepared for the East Bay Broadband Consortium. The East Bay Broadband Report Card gives a community-by-community assessment of core broadband infrastructure in Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano Counties, on the eastern side of San Francisco Bay.
The top line conclusions are…
The best consumer-grade broadband service is in central Contra Costa County, in the City of Concord (A-). It was the only one of the forty cities studied that rated an “A” level grade. Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill received “B” grades, with a high “C” given to Berkeley and Alameda. The common characteristic amongst all five is competition. All five either have or recently had three competing companies building and operating core broadband infrastructure and providing consumer-grade service.
The bottom five cities – Rio Vista (D-), Moraga (D) , Orinda (D), Clayton (D) and Dixon (D) – share one or more of three key characteristics: population densities and income levels typical of rural areas, local resistance to construction and challenging terrain. These factors play a significant role in shaping residential broadband availability.
In between, a general pattern emerges. As a rule, the further a community is from central Contra Costa County and Berkeley, the lower the quality of its broadband infrastructure and service availability. On the whole, incorporated cities tend to receive better grades than nearby unincorporated communities, indicating that municipal governments can play a role in improving broadband access.
The report has details of how the grading was done, and how broadband infrastructure in the East Bay region compares to the rest of California and to U.S. and international benchmarks.