Pipestone County Broadband Profile: 79 percent coverage and looking at regional improvements

In 2014, pipestoneless than 57 percent of Pipestone County had access to broadband. (Broadband was defined with lower speeds back then.) Today 79 percent of the county has access to broadband speeds of 25/3 (Mbps down/up) but only 44 percent have access to the 2026 speed goals of 100/20.

Pipestone is looking into options. They held a meeting in November (2016) to discuss the issue…

Sharon Hanson, Pipestone County administrator, said they not only heard from businesses and agri-businesses like Simplot, but from parents and grandparents who live in the technological ‘black hole,’ from educators and students who find it difficult to participate with online classes, and from home-based businesses that rely upon connectivity.

Now Pipestone is partnering with six counties (Lincoln, Murray, Pipestone, Lyon, 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.  

Pipestone County is in line to receive $644,932 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 810 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. Numbers:

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: 79.36
  • Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 44.54


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 45.63 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 (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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