Becker County Broadband Profile: Not well served but hopeful with state funding

beckerBecker County Ranks in the bottom half (#58) of the counties for broadband coverage at speeds of 25/3 (Mbps down/up). Looking at access at 100/20, less than 7 percent of the county has access.

Their ranking has not changed much since 2014 reports – nor has the percentage covered.

Good news is that Paul Bunyan Communications has received $1.74 million in Border to Border State broadband funding for a project that extends to Hubbard, Becker and Itasca Counties. The project will serve 785 unserved households, 26 unserved businesses, two unserved community anchor institutions, 143 underserved households and two underserved businesses in north central Minnesota. Paul Bunyan will improve service levels to an estimated 2,750 people and nearly 50 small businesses.

Will that be enough to catch them up to the 25/3 goal and set them up to succeed with the 100/20 goal? With FTTH it will be for those areas upgraded. Becker is also in line to receive $821,889 in CAF 2 funding to cover 2,341 locations. CAF 2 funding only requires upgrades to 10/1 service; so there’s no guarantee that those locations will be as prepared for the 100/20 goal.

Numbers:

The Office of Broadband Development released data on broadband covered in fall of 2016, based on information gathered in July 2016. Here’s how Becker ranked:

  • Percentage served with 25/3 or better: 69.41
  • Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 6.58

ranking-aitkin-to-clay

Mississippi State University Extension have come up with a ranking system to gauge the digital divide index (DDI) by county. (The lower the number the better – the state average is 40.66.) Here’s how Becker ranked:

Becker has a DDI score of 61.07 out of 100 – which puts them below average.

More info:

I plan to profile each county in Minnesota – tracking broadband access, digital divide and annotated links to news of what’s happening with broadband in the county. I’m keeping it high level because there are 87 counties!

This entry was posted in County Profiles 2017, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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