Big Stone County Broadband Update: Steadily connecting with local cooperative and state funding

pipestoneBig Stone County has the same percentage of coverage regardless of speed gauged – 25/3 (Mbps down/up) or 100/20. So while they don’t have ubiquitous coverage (they are holding at 70 percent), they are building broadband (FTTH) that will deliver now and in the future.

In 2015, Federated Telephone Cooperative received a Border to Border Broadband grant of $3.92 million to construct broadband infrastructure to make service available to 1,072 unserved premises.

Big Stone is slated to receive very little CAF 2 funding – $6,265 to upgrade 41 locations. CAF 2 recipients are only required to upgrade to 10/1 access. Many may choose to upgrade to better speeds but there are no requirements.

Big Stone is also working digital inclusion. They are part of the UMVRDC (Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission), which is a Blandin Broadband Community working on increasing broadband adoption in the area on projects such as social media marketing movement: Quietly beautiful, wildly connected.


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

  • Percentage served with 25/3 or better: 70.12
  • Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 70.12


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 Big Stone ranked:

DDI score of 48.32 out of 100.

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

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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