Kandiyohi is a county that is largely underserved. Coverage at speeds of 25/3 (Mbps down/up) is 77 percent but only 8 percent have access to speeds of 100/20, which is the speed goal for 2026. They have made huge strides since 2014, when coverage (albeit for a slower definition of broadband) was 14 percent. They need to upgrade their connectivity and continue to expand it.
The good news is that Consolidated Telecommunications Co. (CTC) was awarded a $4.94 million grant to improve serves in New London, Spicer and Willmar and Frontier was awarded a grant of $1.02 million to improve service in rural Kandiyohi County.
Kandiyohi County is also in line to receive $1,382,302 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 2,060 locations. Representative Baker was pleased to announce the investment. 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.
Kandiyohi was Blandin Broadband Community, which means they had support building broadband adoption. One project was a number of public wireless hotspot locations in the county. They have a broadband committee that have spearheaded a feasibility study and encouraged visits from policymakers, such as Lt Governor Tina Smith.
The Office of Broadband Development released data on broadband covered in fall of 2016, based on information gathered in July 2016. Here’s how they ranked:
- Percentage served with 25/3 or better: 77.25
- Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 8.14
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 they ranked:
DDI score of 37.18 out of 100.
- Find more articles on broadband in Kandiyohi. (http://tinyurl.com/z9wk7bm)
- There is a matrix of Minnesota broadband adoption projects; it includes projects from this area.
- Districts: CD 7
House: 17A, 17B
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!