In 2014, 38 percent of Morrison County had access to broadband (a lower definition of broadband). Currently 74 percent of Morrison has access to broadband at speeds of 25/3 (Mbps down/up). That’s quite an improvement! Unfortunately only 29 percent have access to broadband at speeds of 100/20, which is the goal for 2026. They need to focus on getting better broadband and expanding to keep up with their good progress.
In 2015, Morrison was part of a Minnesota grant project through CTC (Consolidated Telephone Cooperative), which received $2 million to bring high-speed Internet to 247 unserved and 90 underserved premises in Cass, Crow Wing and Morrison counties. So 66 percent today is a sizable increase.
Good news this year, they were recently awarded Border to Border funds through Benton Cooperative Telephone..
Benton Cooperative Telephone Co., Buckman – $276,230. The project will serve 130 unserved households, 17 unserved businesses and 1 community anchor institution in Buckman and sections of Buckman and Morrill townships in Morrison County. Benton Cooperative will provide services that will improve educational opportunities, telemedicine, telecommuting and business development. The total eligible project cost is $708,287, with a $432,057 local match.
Morrison County is also in line to receive $1,519,359 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 2915 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: 74.13
- Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 28.83
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 41.48 out of 100.
- Find more articles on broadband in Morrison County (http://tinyurl.com/hxkk5ur)
- There is a matrix of Minnesota broadband adoption projects.
- Districts: CD 8
Senate: 9, 15
House: 09B, 15B
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!