Isanti County: broadband access is decreasing, less than half have access to 100/20 Mbps

isantiIn 2014, Isanti County’s broadband coverage was 55 percent (broadband was defined at a slower speed); currently they have 54 percent coverage for speeds of 25/3 (Mbps down/up) and 49 percent coverage for speeds of 100/20. Their coverage is slipping.

They are a county of haves and have-nots. Most of the people who have broadband seem to have access to 100/20 but less than half of the county has coverage at all. Looking again at the 2014 data, the county broadband coverage is 91 percent if you include wireless options. I suspect that means that there are households that are using hotspots, with expensive data caps, for the primary broadband connection.

Part of Isanti County was included in Anoka County’s ARRA project back in 2010. Cambridge was active in promoting broadband through an early Blandin Foundation program called Got Broadband. To ensure broadband improvements, Isanti would do well to renew that interest in broadband.

Isanti County is in line to receive $1,897,923 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 5,504 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 Isanti County ranked:

  • Percentage served with 25/3 or better: 53.52
  • Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 49.29


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 Isanti ranked:

DDI score of 32.61 out of 100.

More info:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Isanti County. (   
  • Districts: CD 8
    Senate: 31 & 32
    House: 31A, 32A

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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