Carver County Broadband 2014 Update: Nearly covered with help from ARRA funds

CarverIn November, Connect Minnesota released their final report on broadband availability. Here is how Carver County stacked up:

  • Household Density: 87.4
  • Number of Households: 32,891
  • Percentage serviced (without mobile): 97.67%
  • Percentage serviced (with mobile): 99.5%

Carver County is very close to ubiquitous coverage, especially when you include mobile coverage. Part of the reason Carver County is well covered is because they got ARRA funding for Carverlink, an 89-mile base ring with 33 miles of lateral lines. It was completed in Fall of 2013. At that time, the Star Tribune reported that 38 percent of the county was still underserved. Since that time they have also been working with Dakota County (more on them in a few days) and their longstanding efforts to build deeper and redundant connections among Minnesota counties.

My hope is that these county-specific posts will help policy makers and county residents understand where they stand in terms of broadband access. Assuming it might get forwarded to folks who don’t eat and sleep broadband I wanted to provide a little background on broadband to help set the stage…

How does Minnesota define broadband?

The 2015 broadband goal for Minnesota is ubiquitous access to speeds of 10-20 Mbps (down) and 5-10 Mbps (up). These numbers actually reflect 6-10 Mbps up because Minnesota goals are a little out of sync with standard federal measurements. Connect MN measured access with and without including mobile access as it is often considered a slightly different service, in part because of the data caps involved with wireless services. (Data caps can make wireless an expensive primary broadband connection – especially for a household.)

Learn how the other Minnesota counties rank.

How is Minnesota working to promote border to border broadband?

In 2014, the Legislature approved $20 million for broadband grants to support broadband expansion in Minnesota. You can find a list of applicants online. The hope is the broadband sector is that more funding will be made available in 2015.

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