Kittson County unserved and underseved but State grants should help

kittsonKittson County is almost entirely underserved and largely unserved; only 65 percent have access to speeds of 25/3 (Mbps down/up) and only 3 percent have access to 100/20, which is the speed goal for 2026. Kittson saw some improvements through an ARRA funded project (through Wikstrom Telephone) and again through Wikstrom when they were recipients of an early Border to Border grant – but that grant was only going to upgrade 15 premises. It doesn’t sound like a lot of homes but the population in Kittson is only 1,986.

The good news is that Kittson will see upgrades with the latest round of Border to Border grants. Wikstrom Telephone will receive $950,823  to serve 236 unserved households and 26 unserved businesses in sparsely populated areas of Kittson, Marshall, Roseau and Lake of the Woods counties.

Kittson County is also in line to receive $$126,244 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 201 locations. 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 they ranked:

  • Percentage served with 25/3 or better: 65.62
  • Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 3.46


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 54.70 out of 100.

More info:

  • There is a matrix of Minnesota broadband adoption projects; it includes projects from this area.
  • Districts: CD 7
    Senate: 01
    House: 01A

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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