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.
Meeker County broadband ranking has bumped up one from 58 to 57. They received a grant in 2015 that has helped. Also AT&T has been investing in the area. And parts of Meeker County (Collinwood Twp., Cosmos, Darwin, Dassell Twp., Grove City, Litchfield, Litchfield Twp.) are on Mediacom’s plan for Gig access. And the county is taking steps to encourage improvements too.
In February (2018), they were part of a regional discussion on broadband hosted by the Blandin Foundation. They provided an update on broadband in county at that time…
Meeker County – David Krueger
We got $25,000 from Blandin for a feasibility study. Access is uneven. Preliminary results show that consumers and businesses need more of what they may not know they need. They need more education as well as broadband.
A couple of years ago people started to recognize that they didn’t have adequate broadband or if they could it was too expensive. We realize that if we had more customers that would help create a business case for providers to come in and/or upgrade services. Students are needing better broadband. They get ipads from the school. Now they’re going to McDonald’s to do some homework.
What are the barriers in place? The technology required is based on needs of the users. Is there a possibility for dark fiber, a cooperative model, partnerships, shared use of conduit, future planning… But we need to build demand to make sure we maximize use and ROI.
Two years ago, businesses thought they were fine with existing broadband. Now they need more. We need to focus on future needs to create a solution for today and tomorrow.
The county has also started a new way to promote Meeker County Made products to support local manufacturers but they also realize that manufacturers need better broadband…
“Another initiative that Meeker County is involved in is working on a stronger broadband presence,” Krueger said.
Jack Maytum, senior business analyst for Design Nine Consulting, was among those present at the luncheon. Design Nine is the consulting agency hired to study Meeker County’s broadband internet presence and determine what’s necessary to keep up with technological advances.
“In 10 or 15 years, we’re going to be at the point where dial-up internet used to be,” Krueger said. “This analysis is all about what your businesses need for the future.”
Taking steps forward to provide the best outcomes for manufacturing businesses across Meeker County, Meeker County Made, the speakers said, hopes to bring national recognition to an industry that has provided a careers to a great number of the population as well as economic growth.
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: 57