Lyon County has broadband today but needs to plan for the future

lyonIn 2014, less than 5 percent of Lyon County had access to broadband! They have come a long way with 72 percent having access to broadband at speeds of 25/3 (Mbps down/up) today. But they are poised to be in same shoes they were in 2014 with zero percent access to broadband at speeds of 100/20, which is the state goal for 2026.

There is good news for part of Lyon County; in the last round of Border to Border broadband grants. Midco received $623,000 to  serve 1,029 unserved households, 29 unserved businesses and 11 unserved community institutions in the communities of Porter, Taunton, Minneota, Ghent and Canby in Yellow Medicine and Lyon counties. Midco will improve service levels for 100 percent of the homes and businesses in those areas.

Lyon is an example of the need to keep up with changing definition of broadband, either through incremental upgrades or by focusing on long term solutions; Lyon seems to be moving in that direction. Lyon is partnering with five other counties (Murray, Pipestone, Lincoln, Yellow Medicine and Chippewa) to do a regional broadband study to determine the feasibility of bringing broadband service to unserved rural areas in the six counties.

Lyon County is also in line to receive $1,341,020 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 1,699 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: 72.37
  • Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 0


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 32.67 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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