Upper MN River Valley Counties talk about why they need broadband

The West Central Tribune reports…

Of the five counties served by the Upper Minnesota River Valley Regional Development Commission, Chippewa and Yellow Medicine counties have the farthest to go to provide broadband services in their rural areas.

Chippewa and Yellow Medicine are working to make that better…

The RDC hosted a series of six meetings with rural residents in Chippewa and Yellow Medicine counties during the past year to identify the issues and demand.

The meetings made evident the interest that exists in the rural areas of the two counties, and the needs, according to Laura Ostlie with the RDC.

She heard from businesses in areas ranging from Clara City to Canby who cited the challenges they face due to limitations they now experience. In some cases, businesses are turning to costly access to the internet through their mobile phones to meet their needs.

Of those who attended the meetings, 97 percent have internet access, and 87 percent said they had six or more devices that used it. Just over half, or 56 percent of those attending the meetings, rated their current service as “poor.”

Residents would pay more for better service…

Surveys at the meetings revealed rural customers in the two counties are paying an average of $51 a month for internet service. One third said they are willing to pay $30 more per month for improved service.

This entry was posted in Digital Divide, MN, Research by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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