Brown County: holding at 95 percent current coverage, new state grant too


When I looked in 2014, Brown was about 90 percent covered. (Definition of broadband was slower speed.) In 2016, we see they are gaining ground. There is 92 percent coverage for speeds of 25/3 (Mbps down/up) and 89 percent coverage for speeds of 100/20. The anchor community in the county is New Ulm.

New Ulm Telecom has received $200,397 toward a project that will serve 14 unserved households and 32 unserved businesses in Lake Hanska Township in Brown County and Riverdale Township in Watonwan County. New Ulm Telephone will improve service levels in an area populated with farms and home-based businesses.

Brown County is close to Renville and Sibley Counties, which have made a big (successful) push for broadband. State funded projects have happened around them in Redwood and Wantonwan Counties. As New Ulm Telecom comes from one direction, perhaps these other counties can reach in from the other.

Also Brown County is in line to receive $95,995 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 101 locations. Unfortunately 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.


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

  • Percentage served with 25/3 or better: 92
  • Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 89


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 Blue Earth ranked:

DDI score of 43.79 out of 100.

More info:

  • Districts: CD 1
    Senate: 16
    House: 16B

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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