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 Lyon County stacked up:
- Household Density: 14.2
- Number of Households: 10,227
- Percentage serviced (without mobile): 4.14%
- Percentage serviced (with mobile): 4.14%
Lyon County is clearly in bad shape when it comes to broadband. Or there’s something very strange about how the numbers were collected.
When I look up addresses in the area it looks like there are a few providers: Arvig, Charter, Frontier MVTV Wireless but none of them must be serving the whole area. I know MVTV is always looking to expand; maybe that offers possibility for the community. We have seen counties with lower population density encourage providers to come into the area. But at this point I haven’t seen or heard of much development (adoption or deployment) happening in the area. Although I’d be delighted to hear that I’m wrong and there are efforts in motion.
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.