In 2014, Cass County’s coverage was only 36 percent. But they were part of a Minnesota grant project through CTC (Consolidated Telephone Cooperative), which received $2 million to bring high-speed Internet to 247 unserved and 90 underserved premises in Cass, Crow Wing and Morrison counties. So 66 percent today is a sizable increase.
Just recently, TDS received state funding to invest in Cass (and Crow Wing) County…
TDS Telecom (TDS) announced last week it would receive $3 million in Minnesota Dept. of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) funds and invest another $3 million to expand and improve rural broadband services in parts of Crow Wing and Cass Counties.
Elaborating, TDS said it would expand broadband service and high-speed wireless Internet access to serve more than 3,400 unserved households and a variety of local organizations. Included among the latter are more than 60 businesses, 142 small enterprises, and a number of community “anchor” institutions. The project will impact residents and businesses in parts of Backus, Hackensack, Ideal Corners, Pequot Lakes, Pine River, and Woman Lake, according to a TDS press release.
We should see increases after that investment too.
Cass is in line to receive $310,616 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 795 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.
Cass County is part of Region 5 (the Resilient Region) which has been focused on broadband improvements and was a Blandin Broadband Community.
The Office of Broadband Development released data on broadband covered in fall of 2016, based on information gathered in July 2016. Here’s how Cass County ranked:
- Percentage served with 25/3 or better: 66.92
- Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 34.07
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 Cass ranked:
DDI score of 58.67 out of 100.
- Find more articles on broadband in Cass County. (http://tinyurl.com/hgtulgm)
- Districts: CD 8
Senate: 05 & 09
House: 05A, 05B, 09A
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!