In 2014, more than 99 percent of Stevens 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 96 percent has access to the 2026 speed goals of 100/20.
There are two providers in the county that provide service at the 2026 goal speed: Federated Telephone Coop and Mediacom.
In 2015, they benefited from a Border to Border Broadband grant…
Otter Tail Telcom, Swan Lake West. Awarded $438,937 to expand existing infrastructure and bring fiber-to-the-home services to 110 unserved locations, including permanent residences with work-from-home employees near Swan Lake, on the outskirts of Fergus Falls, along the I-94 corridor. The total project costs are $877,874; the remaining $438,937 (50 percent local match) will be provided by Otter Tail Telcom.
Steven County was a Minnesota Intelligent Regional Community, which means they have been making a concerted effort to increase broadband adoption with projects like an online tool for college renters and landlords, digital inclusion training and putting cemetery records online.
Stevens County is in line to receive $69,860 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 87 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: 99.21
- Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 96.73
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 27.38 out of 100.
- Find more articles on broadband in Stevens County (http://tinyurl.com/joutu2h)
- There is a matrix of Minnesota broadband adoption projects.
- Districts: CD 7
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!