Rice County Broadband Profile: Well served today (98 percent) but only half (49 percent) meet 2026 goals

riceIn 2014, 98 percent of Rice County had access to broadband. (Broadband was defined with lower speeds back then.) Today 98 percent of the county has access to broadband speeds of 25/3 (Mbps down/up) and 49 percent has access to the 2026 speed goals of 100/20.

Looking at articles and editorials in the local paper, some folks in Rice County seem aware of the need to look to higher speeds. Representative Brian Daniels, however, seems to think that CAF 2 funding will build sufficient broadband. The county is well served by today’s standards but less than half have speeds that meet the 2026 goal.

Rice County is in line to receive $1,293,094 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 3073 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: 97.93
  • Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 48.85


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 26.51 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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