Faribault County expanding access has helped but they also need upgraded access

faribaultIn 2014, 38 percent of Faribault County had access to broadband. Today 81 percent of the county has access to speeds of 25/3 (Mbps down/up) but only 49 percent have access to broadband speeds of 100/20, which are the 2026 state broadband goal.

Faribault has done well to expand coverage in the last couple of years but to prepare for the future, they need to look at better (faster) broadband and continued expansion or they will be in the same position they were in 2014.

A new Minnesota Broadband grant will help expand and upgrade broadband. Blue Earth Valley Telephone Co. got $152,828 to help serve 18 unserved households (including farms), eight unserved businesses, two underserved households and three underserved businesses in rural Winnebago in Faribault County. Blue Earth Valley Telephone will improve services that will help livestock and grain farmers in the region. The total eligible project cost is $382,070, with a $229,242 local match.

Faribault County is also in line to receive $176,448 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 256 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.

Thanks to Jim Beattie for more info (I’m pulling from comments below):

Faribault County is mostly served by BEVCOMM and Mediacom. BEVCOMM is a rural ILEC that is not covered by CAF 2 funding, but has recently opted to accept ACAM model support, which will replace rural High Cost USF support.

BEVCOMM is a motivated local provider, making a concerted effort to serve the area’s broadband needs. It has received two Border to Border broadband grants in the last two years in Faribault County, and another 4 grants in other rural areas it serves in Freeborn, Martin and LeSueur counties. The local match for these grants was entirely funded by BEVCOMM, without any local city, township or county funds.

The CAF 2 funding designated for Faribault County will be received by Frontier Communications, the local provider in the community of Kiester, MN. The 2010 census indicated that there were 246 households in Kiester, which is likely reduced in 2017 given demographic trends in Faribault County. So the 256 locations covered by CAF 2 funding covers most, if not all, of the Frontier service area there.

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 Faribault County ranked:

  • Percentage served with 25/3 or better: 81.77
  • Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 49.13

ranking-clearwater-to-jackson

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 Faribault ranked:

DDI score of 45.13 out of 100.

More info:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Faribault County. (http://tinyurl.com/jzwv3gx)
  • Districts: CD 1
    Senate: 23, 27
    House: 23A, 27A

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.

4 thoughts on “Faribault County expanding access has helped but they also need upgraded access

  1. I just wanted to point out that Rep. Brian Daniels represents the City of Faribault, and the links to newspaper articles are from the Faribault Daily News, which is the local newspaper in the city of Faribault. The city of Faribault is the county seat of Rice County, just south of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area, on Interstate 35. Faribault County is on the Iowa border, almost exactly half way between the South Dakota and Wisconsin borders on the Interstate 90 corridor. And given the incredibly rural nature of Faribault County, with approximately 10,000 total residents, being half way to the state broadband goal 9 years down the road is admirable. I predict Faribault County will meet or exceed that goal well before 2026.

  2. Thanks so much for the heads up on the City of Faribault. I will fix that ASAP and save city of Faribault info for Rice County. I hope that you are right about Faribault County. It is absolutely possible but will require a concerted effort and/or a motivated provider.

  3. Thank you. I would also point out that Faribault County is mostly served by BEVCOMM and Mediacom. BEVCOMM is a rural ILEC that is not covered by CAF 2 funding, but has recently opted to accept ACAM model support, which will replace rural High Cost USF support.

    BEVCOMM is a motivated local provider, making a concerted effort to serve the area’s broadband needs. It has received two Border to Border broadband grants in the last two years in Faribault County, and another 4 grants in other rural areas it serves in Freeborn, Martin and LeSueur counties. The local match for these grants was entirely funded by BEVCOMM, without any local city, township or county funds.

    The CAF 2 funding designated for Faribault County will be received by Frontier Communications, the local provider in the community of Kiester, MN. The 2010 census indicated that there were 246 households in Kiester, which is likely reduced in 2017 given demographic trends in Faribault County. So the 256 locations covered by CAF 2 funding covers most, if not all, of the Frontier service area there.

  4. What good news for Faribault! BEVCOMM is engaged and I have heard Mediacom is working on big upgrades for their areas in Minnesota this year too.

    I am interested in the ACAM model – specifically I’d love to get a list of which counties may benefit from it. Also curious about what changes the new Chair might bring to ACAM – but that’s a different post entirely!

    Jim – I really appreciate your help! I may bump some of the info you’ve added right into the post to make sure people see it.

    You know Faribault County much better than I do – and I can only dig in so deep into any one county given that 24 hours a day reistraction. Thank you!! If you want to give me the heads on on any other counties as I write ’em – please feel free atreacy@treacyinfo.com or chiming in after ai post is great too.

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