Marshall County broadband profile: Marshall’s broadband ranks 85 out of 87 but improvements are planned

marshallMarshall County is in bad shape when it comes to broadband coverage. Only 33 percent of the county has access to broadband speeds of 25/3 (Mbps down/up) and only 9 percent has access to speeds of 100/20, which is the Minnesota speed goal for 2016. But they have had some good news.

Although the impact may not be seen in the maps yet, they did get Border to Border funding in 2015

Wikstrom Telephone, Kittson, Marshall, Roseau Broadband Extension. Awarded $425,000 to bring fiber-to-the-home service to 73 unserved and 43 underserved locations in Kittson (15 premises), Marshall (50 premises) and Roseau (51 premises) counties. The total project costs are $943,827; the remaining $518,827 (55 percent local match) will be provided by Wikstrom.

And they recently received funding in the latest round of Border to Border grants – so perhaps we’ll see improvements in the future. Because the grants are required to be scalable to 100/20, they should at least be setting themselves up for greater coverage by the 2026 standards…

Wikstrom Telephone Co. (with Beamco Inc.), Rural Alvarado – $43,481. The project will serve 11 unserved households and 1 unserved business in the Alvarado area, in a remote part of Marshall County. The telephone company and Beamco Inc., a local engineering and manufacturing company, are partnering to improve services in the area.

Marshall County is also in line to receive $454,418 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 535 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: 33.49
  • Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 9.20


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 53.94 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, uncategorized 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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