In 2014, more than 99 percent of Steele County had access to broadband. (Broadband was defined with lower speeds back then.) Today more than 99 percent of the county has access to broadband speeds of 25/3 (Mbps down/up) and more than 95 percent has access to the 2026 speed goals of 100/20.
Nearing the end of looking at every county, I’ve noticed some patterns – one is that there are a few counties that are well served and I never hear anything about them. Steele County is one of those. It always makes me wonder who the provider is. If a provider is focused on providing fast service; it gets done, often with little fanfare. Sadly the same isn’t true of a community. Community members can focus all they want, if the provider isn’t interested it’s difficult to make it happen. I hear about those communities.
The Office of Broadband Development has a list providers by counties, including the maximum download and upload speeds. Here are the providers that serve the area with reportedly faster access than 100/20:
- CenturyLink – with DSL 105/40
- Jaguar – with fiber 1000/100
- Mediacom – with cable 150/20
- Midcontinent Communications – with 200/20
- Radio Link Internet – with fixed wireless 100/100
Steele County is in line to receive $1,612,611 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 2645 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: 99.86
- Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 95.64
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 30.80 out of 100.
- Find more articles on broadband in Steele County (http://tinyurl.com/zd4qhbu)
- There is a matrix of Minnesota broadband adoption projects.
- Districts: CD 1
Senate: 24, 27
House: 24A, 24B, 27A
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!