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Q: Broadband Access in Greater Portland Maine Area ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Broadband Access in Greater Portland Maine Area
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: alanhyman-ga
List Price: $4.00
Posted: 20 Apr 2002 00:26 PDT
Expires: 27 Apr 2002 00:26 PDT
Question ID: 2251
How many people over the age of 12 can access the internet with broadband in 
the greater 
Portland, Maine area?
Subject: Re: Broadband Access in Greater Portland Maine Area
Answered By: jaq-ga on 20 Apr 2002 15:03 PDT
Broadband (DSL and faster) Internet connections are available from Verizon in 
much of the greater Portland, Maine area, as well as from various ISPs via 
Covad. In addition, the Portland Public Library maintains a publicly accessible 
connection to the Internet. Thus, everyone who lives in the area can be 
expected to be able to access the Internet via high-speed connection 

The population of Cumberland County, the county Portland is in, is 265,612, and 
the US Census shows that its population mirrors state numbers. For the state of 
Maine, approximately 83.5% of the population is 13 or older, and the same 
percentage applied to the greater Portland area’s population gives 
approximately 221,790 people over the age of 12 who can access the Internet 
with broadband. Of course, this doesn’t include people who have arrived to the 
area since the census, or who are visiting, etc.

The number of households which have private connections to the Internet, or the 
number of people with access at school or work but not counting access via 
public terminals, may not be as easily determined (and, given the proprietary 
nature of customer information, it may not be possible to get specific area 
information from them).

The following sites were useful in obtaining the information in this answer:

Portland Public Library Online

Quick Facts about Cumberland County, Maine

Age and Sex statistics for Maine

Cumberland County, Maine population statistics.

Fast Facts, Visit Portland

DSL Reports Service Search


Request for Answer Clarification by alanhyman-ga on 21 Apr 2002 01:04 PDT
I think the answer that approx. 220,000 people can access the internet in 
broadband in the great Portland Maine area is a bit misleading.  I would think 
more like 30,000 - 80,000 can (currently) access the internet with broadband 
from their homes.  maybe more from work... but not 80% of the population i 
don't think...

Clarification of Answer by jaq-ga on 22 Apr 2002 22:55 PDT
Hi, Alan-

Any one of those 220,000 people in the greater Portland, Maine area can walk 
into their public library and access the internet.

In your request for clarification, you now mention “from their homes”, but also 
mention “maybe […] from work.” You ask “how many can,” perhaps you really want 
to know “how many do”?

As I said in my answer, determining exactly how many homes have connections is 
nigh impossible, but it’s clear that the number is very high in Portland, ME.

The United States Census Bureau has published data which says that in the 
northeastern part of the country, about 20% of  the adult population has 
Internet access:

Census Bureau

---Begin quote from         
NORTHEAST: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, 
Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
                              Any      HAVE INTERNET ACCESS
       ITEM       Total     Online/
                  adults    Internet  ---------------------------------
                             usage      Home       Home       Work
                                       or work     only       only

  Northeast        19.7       19.9       20.1       20.3       19.2

---End quote from

However, cable modems have very high penetration in Portland in particular, 
upwards of 30%, which suggests that the Census bureau’s numbers for the general 
area (“The Northeast”) are likely to be low- very likely lower even than the 
number of people with high-speed access, though the Census Bureau’s numbers are 
about any Internet access at all.

“Speed Bumps” – Cable modems in Maine
“The Portland area has RoadRunner’s highest market penetration in the country: 
28% of all cable-equipped locations subscribe to the service.” agrees:

Roadrunner Gears Up “Business Class” Offer
“Markets like Portland, Maine — where cable-modem penetration is beyond 30 
percent — led the charge.”

According to Time-Warner, there are 85,000 cable TV subscribers in the Greater 
Portland Area (35,000 of which are RoadRunner subscribers); with a population 
of 265,000 in the area, that is essentially 100% penetration of cable TV in the 

These numbers greatly skew available estimates, such as Gartner Dataquest’s 
market study that showed that 25% of those households that are online are 
making high-speed connections. But perhaps their finding that 50% of those high-
speed connections are cable modem subscribers is true for the Portland area as 
well, in which case we may estimate that as many as 60% of its population is 
online at high speeds from their home, or approximately 120,000 people.

Online at Home in the U.S. – 8/31/01

What is clear, even without explicit customer data, is that Portland, Maine is 
exceptionally wired, with much of the population having good access to high-
speed, broadband Internet.

I hope this answers your question more completely.
There are no comments at this time.

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