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.
McLeod County ranking has dipped from 36 to 43. In February (2018), the Blandin Foundation held a meeting in the region to talk about broadband. We got a glimpse of the situation in the county…
They don’t have an economic development department to work on broadband. So no one seems to be championing the effort on a county-wide basis. BUT, as part of RS Fiber, two cities are getting connectivity (FTTH). Hutchinson has cable and halfway decent speeds – but outside of Hutchinson, the county is not well served. There was a MN State grant in 2014 just outside the city of Hutchinson via New Ulm Telecom.
McLeod may want to look at starting or joining a concerted effort to improve broadband. Or they may be able to benefit from efforts around them; although that’s not guaranteed.
Some efforts have been made. There was a Minnesota broadband grant application in the county that was not funded. AT&T announced improvements in the area. And Mediacom has announced upgrades in McLeod County, specifically Brownton, Hassan Valley, Hutchinson, Lester Prairie, Silver Lake, Stewart, Winsted.
Yet, McLeod was one of seven counties deemed non-competitive by the FCC, which means half the locations with demand for the services do not have a competitive provider located within at least half a mile or if 75 percent of the census blocks do not have the presence of a cable provider.
Info on Access:
|Speeds||% served 2017||% served 2018|
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: 43