Norman County Broadband Profile: current ranking 80

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.

Norman County’s broadband ranking has dipped from 71 to 80. The access to 25/3 has increased considerably since the last survey so I suspect residents feel like their situation is better but there has been no growth in access at speeds of 100/20 so feeling like they have enough broadband may be short-lived.

There’s bad news and good news. Norman County was listed as one of the few non-competitive counties in Minnesota for broadband access; according to the FCC, which means half the locations with demand for the services don’t have a competitive provider located within at least half a mile or 75 percent of the census blocks don’t have the presence of a cable provider.

Good news for Norman County, Red River Valley Cooperative Power Association received an $8,000,000 loan from the USDA to work on infrastructure for a smart grid…

This Rural Development investment will add 414 consumers, build 47 miles of line, improve 44 miles and make other system improvements.  The loan amount includes $1,545,000 for smart grid projects.  Red River Valley is headquartered in Halstad.  It serves 4,606 customers over 1,802 miles of line in Clay, Norman and Polk counties in northwestern Minnesota. The economy of the service area is primarily agricultural.

Info on Access:

Speeds % served 2017 % served 2018
25/3 37.67 98.02
100/20 20.52 20.55

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: 80

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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s