Roseau County Broadband Profile: 62 percent covered today with grant support

In 2014, roseau46 percent of Roseau County had access to broadband. (Broadband was defined with lower speeds back then.) Today 62 percent of the county has access to broadband speeds of 25/3 (Mbps down/up) and 0 percent has access to the 2026 speed goals of 100/20. I have to be suspect of zero access to 100/20 since is sounds like a part of an ARRA project in their area was for FTTH but perhaps none of those FTTH locations were in Roseau County. Although the they have also been in line for some FTTH through State supported projects.

There have been incremental upgrades in Roseau County. They were part of a ARRA grant

Wikstrom Telephone Company, Incorporated
This $7.4 million grant to Wikstrom Telephone Company, Inc. will deploy 414 miles of new cables and electronics for GPON fiber to the home in 6 communities of Kittson, Marshall and Roseau County for Broadband Services over 100 megabits. Electronic enhancements will be made to existing DSL customers to increase Broadband speeds up to 48mbs, along with 74 miles of additional fiber to the node, and a 150mb microwave upgrade for service to the NW Angle. Wikstrom Telephone’s project stands to benefit approximately 12,000 people, 1,500 businesses, and 83 other community institutions. In addition to the jobs this project will create upfront, it will help drive economic development and create jobs for decades to come.

In 2015, they received a Border to Border broadband grant via Sjoberg cable…

Sjoberg Cable, Broadband Grant Proposal. Awarded $261,575 to provide broadband services to 107 unserved and 49 underserved locations using fiber-to- the-premise technology, predominantly in extremely rural and agricultural areas. The project would build-out in five areas in Roseau County near Roseau, Warroad and Salol. The total project costs are $523,150; the remaining $261,575 (50 percent local match) will be provided by Sjoberg’s Inc.

And were part of a State project through Wikstrom in 2015 as well…

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.

Unfortunately, either that work was not yet completed in July 2016 (when last measured) or the upgrade wasn’t enough to set them up for the 2026 speed goals.

Roseau County is in line to receive $847,823 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 1648 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: 62.12
  • 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 49.73 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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