Polk County Broadband Profile: current ranking 16

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.

Polk County broadband ranking has bumped up from 19 to 16. Polk got an early jump with broadband access in the form of an ARRA grant to Halstad Telephone. Halstad also received an early round Minnesota broadband grant.

Good news for the area, Red River Valley Cooperative Power Association received a $8,000,000 loan from the USDA to improve infrastructure for a smart grid system…

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.

While Garden Valley Telephone Company received a loan of $20,360,000 from the USDA through the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program and the Community Connect Grant Program…

Project description: This Rural Development investment will be used to make system improvements in Polk, Clearwater, Pennington, Marshall and Red Lake counties, and in the vacation resort areas of Maple Lake and Union Lake. The borrower proposes to construct 295.1 miles of fiber-optic facilities and construct fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) facilities. These improvements will enable Garden Valley to enhance services and provide voice, video and higher broadband speeds for subscribers.

Halstad received a grant in the last round of Minnesota grants…

Halstad Telephone Co., Kertsonville Area – $296,665. The project will serve 51 unserved households in Kertsonville and Onstad townships in Polk County. Halstad Telephone Co. will improve service levels that benefit farmers, home businesses and residents. The total eligible project cost is $593,330, with a $296,665 local match.

AT&T has announced their investment in the area.

Info on Access:

Speeds % served 2017 % served 2018
25/3 90.78 93.00
100/20 80.89 85.39

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: 16

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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