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 Murray County stacked up:
- Household Density: 5.2
- Number of Households: 3,717
- Percentage serviced (without mobile): 43.53%
- Percentage serviced (with mobile): 43.53%
Murray County clearly has work to do. Back in 2010, Economic Developer John Shepard made the case for supporting broadband in Murray County. (John was involved with the Southwest Regional Development Commission and their Blandin-supported MIRC Project.) His argument stands today – maybe even more so…
As agricultural producers, this project may not directly affect broadband access at your farm. However, it is intended to benefit you in two direct ways.
- First, providing opportunities to create new jobs may help your kids, or even yourselves, stay in Rural Minnesota. More and more farm families have to have off-farm employment to survive, not to mention providing options for spouses. 2. Second, creating additional demand for broadband will help providers offer the latest and greatest telecommunications services that you do directly need—from video cattle auctions to simple social media.
When we help each other out in rural Minnesota, everybody wins.
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.