Nicollet County Broadband Profile: current ranking 73

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.

Nicollet is another county where we see a big dip in ranking from 38 to 73 but it also looks like the big difference might be looking at wired connectivity-only this year. That change in lens makes it difficult to gauge progress in some counties, but we can still look at what’s happening in the area.

Consolidated Communications announced improvements in Nicollet County…

Consolidated Communications’ high-speed Internet services include no data caps and a free wifi router, all backed by local customer service. The new broadband packages can be bundled with Consolidated’s Digital TV and voice services to provide even greater savings.

Increased speeds are available within the following communities: Mankato, North Mankato, Amboy, Cambria, Eagle Lake, Ellendale, Faribault, Garden City, Good Thunder, Janesville, Lake Crystal, Madison Lake, Mapleton, New Richland, Nicollet, Pemberton, St. Clair, St. Peter, Vernon Center and Waseca.

Mediacom has announced improvements in the area too with Lafayette and Saint Peter scheduled for Gig access.

Local leaders are recognizing the need for improvements.

County Commissioners recognize the need for better broadband…

All of the legislative representatives want to push for broadband internet service, even to the most rural parts of Minnesota.

“It’s one of the responsibilities of government to provide this infrastructure,” Johnson said.

Bree Maki, Sen. Tina Smith’s Southern Minnesota outreach coordinator, said that they’re looking for hard-wired connections, not wi-fi hotspots. …

In the past, he said, township supervisors wanted to talk about annexation. Now, they want to talk about broadband. For those in rural Minnesota, access to reliable broadband will allow use of drones and precision agriculture, which could limit the amount of chemicals used in agriculture.

“There’s an argument to be made that the best thing you can do to improve water quality in rural Minnesota is giving farmers internet,” Ackman said. “It’s going to be a game changer.”

Legislators recognize the need too…

In the Mankato region, broadband coverage is worst in Martin and Sibley counties, with about 45 percent of households without broadband coverage. Some 30 to 40 percent of households in Watonwan and Waseca County have no access to typical broadband. Even in more populous Blue Earth and Nicollet counties about 20 to 25 percent of households are without broadband

Info on Access:

Speeds % served 2017 % served 2018
25/3 86.10 83.91
100/20 54.54 33.29

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: 73

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 (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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