Isanti County Broadband 2014 Update: about half the households have access

isantiFor the upcoming weeks I’m working on a County-by-County look at the State of Broadband in MN. My hope is to feature a county a day (in alphabetical order). In November, Connect Minnesota released their final report on broadband availability. Here is how Isanti County stacked up:

  • Household Density: 30.9
  • Number of Households: 13,972
  • Percentage serviced (without mobile): 55.13%
  • Percentage serviced (with mobile): 91.54%

Isanti County is one of those counties where there’s a big difference in coverage based on whether you include mobile access or not.

Part of Isanti County was included in Anoka County’s ARRA project back in 2010. I know Cambridge was active in promoting broadband through an early Blandin Foundation program called Got Broadband. In fact I found a video they made as part of their participation that highlights broadband adoption programs in the community from 2009.

It’s a little disheartening to see that after early enthusiasm that Isanti County doesn’t have better coverage.

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 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.

This entry was posted in Conferences, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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