Broadband and housing in Chisago County: broadband touches everything

I was just telling someone that broadband is the solution to almost any question. And today while I was reading the Comprehensive Housing Needs Analysis for Chisago County, Minnesota and I was reminder that it’s true.

The report projects housing demand from 2017 through 2030, and provides recommendations on the amount and type of housing that could be built in Chisago County to satisfy demand from current and future residents over the next decade. Lack of internet access was listed as a potential problem to attracting people….

Internet Access. Several interviewees mentioned the lack of broadband Internet and slow Internet speeds across parts of Chisago County. The lack of Internet connections could hinder housing development in the county as Internet access is critical for many households in today’s digital age. Many interviewees mentioned the desire to have a home based business or to be able to telecommute in Chisago County. Without high-speed reliable Internet, many will not consider moving to the county. Studies suggest high speed Internet connection to a home boost property values. We understand Chisago County recently received grant funds to analyze technology trends and to address the issue. Two townships in Chisago County have partnered with CenturyLink and MN Dept. of Employment and Eco-nomic Development Broadband Office to bring fiber to the home.

There’s also a note that lack of online marketing of housing options keeps some of the market closed to people form outside the area…

Point of Contact/Housing Resources/One Stop Shop. Several interviews stressed that housing options for rental housing are exceptionally low in Chisago County. Finding a rental housing unit can be difficult as there are few options to begin with and many buildings have high occupancy rates and are not necessarily marketing. Many of the rental properties throughout the county are smaller and are locally owned and managed and they are not actively marketing on the Internet or social media which is difficult for non-residents to find housing availability. Furthermore, many landlords mentioned there is not a lot of turnover as many tenants stay in the lease for years.

This entry was posted in Broadband Applications, economic development, Government, 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.

5 thoughts on “Broadband and housing in Chisago County: broadband touches everything

  1. We’re well down the road of consequences of regarding Internet as a luxury “broadband” add on service that began in the 1990s with basic narrowband dialup. The major consequence is instead of beginning back then to modernize the legacy metallic infrastructure of telephone and cable TV to fiber to the premise, the U.S. today has enormous deficiencies and disparate access in telecom infrastructure capable of supporting high quality data, voice and video services. It’s all borne out of how it was first conceived — as a luxury service instead of where telecom technology was headed, where Internet protocol would deliver all of those services. Big part of that was ossified thinking that it would always be that way. Hence it’s best left in the hands of the private sector as with other luxury goods and services. It’s an enormous public policy failure.

    • Again – well said.
      I just watched a program where a punchline was – hindsight isn’t too late. But that might mean doing things differently. Are we ready?

  2. I believe our current circumstance is demanding a new policy approach — a major element of readiness for change. We’re increasingly seeing media coverage of telecom infrastructure deficits and efforts by various levels of government and private sector players to address them. But from where I stand, collectively they come up short as too incremental and underfunded. A major federal commitment is needed.

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