Hubbard County looking hopeful with upgrades from Paul Bunyan and a MN State Broadband grant

hubbardIn 2014, Hubbard County’s broadband coverage was 76 percent. Broadband coverage has increased to 87 percent at speeds of 25/3 (Mbps down/up) and 46 percent at speeds of 100/20.

Paul Bunyan has been upgrading service in the county; in March 2015, they upgraded in the Park Rapids, making GigaZone services  available to over 2,700 locations. The good news about the Giazone is that it exceeds the 100/20 speed goal for 2026.

Hubbard County will get help improving broadband coverage with a Minnesota Broadband grant; Paul Bunyan Communications will begin construction this spring that will pass a minimum of 1,030 locations in portions of Arbo Township, Balsam Township, Lawrence Township, and Nashwauk Township in Itasca County, portions of Straight River Township in Hubbard County, and portions of Osage Township and Green Valley Township in Becker County.  The project is estimated to cost $3.9 million, with Paul Bunyan Communications contributing $2.16 million, $1.74 million from the State of Minnesota Border to Border Grant, and Itasca County contributing up to $75,000 towards the Itasca County portion of the project.

It’s worth noting that Hubbard;s DDI score is high, which means not great. So they would benefit from some broadband adoption programs.

Houston County is also in line to receive $913,117 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 2,857 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 Hubbard County ranked:

  • Percentage served with 25/3 or better: 87.42
  • Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 46.43


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 Hubbard ranked:

DDI score of 50.73 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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