Chippewa County Broadband Profile – Current ranking 77

I am doing the annual look at broadband in each county – based on maps from the Office of Broadband Development and news gathered from the last year.

Chippewa’s ranking has dropped from 69 to 77. But they are working toward change. Late in 2017, Chippewa was part of an informal Internet study, then in April they released a more in-depth and detailed feasibility study

We view the hybrid fiber and wireless solution as a great first step towards improving broadband. This option would bring fiber immediately to about a third of the rural homes in the county, including the town of Watson. The fiber constructed for this scenario is a first step in getting fiber closer to everybody in the county. We think a reasonable business plan is to start with the hybrid option and extend fiber to everybody over time.

Our analysis shows that it is not economically feasible to build fiber everywhere in the county using the existing Border-to-Border grant program—the 50% grant matching in that program is not enough to create a sustainable network. However, the hybrid fiber and wireless solutions all look to be economically viable.

The report discusses the next steps the county needs to take after digesting the results of this study. These include such things as looking for a partner to bring broadband to those areas without it today. The goal would be to have a partner by next year to be ready for future state grant funds.

It’s a step in the right direction. They recognize the issue and they are investigating options.

Info on Access:

Speeds % served 2017 % served 2018
25/3 72.28 72.33
100/20 24.45 24.80

The speeds reflect the Minnesota speed goals:

  • 25 Mbps down and 3 up by 2022
  • 100 Mbps down and 20 up by 2026

Current ranking for 100/20 access: 77

This entry was posted in County Profiles 2018 by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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