Rice County Broadband Profile: current ranking 74

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.

Rice County broadband ranking has dropped from 45 to 74 in part because the percentage of access has dropped although that may be in part due to the fact that the 2018 numbers look at wired access only. (2017 number looked at fixed wireless too.)

Rice County is in a precarious position because their access to 25/3 speeds is good but access to 100/20 is not good. So residents may be happy enough with their service now but as the rest of the world starts using faster speeds, applications will start assuming or requiring faster speeds.

I sometime look at communities with good 25/3 access but poor 100/20 access like the C+ students. Their access seems fine enough so they don’t get the help they need to prepare for the future.

Rice County did apply for a state broadband grant (unsuccessfully) in the last round…

Rice County will try for a second year to connect more of its residents.

The Board of Commissioners on Tuesday voted unanimously to back a grant application that would extend broadband service into unserved or underserved parts of northwest Rice County including areas around Webster and Veseli. The application will be made by three area internet service providers: Lonsdale Telephone Co., BEVCOMM and Jaguar Communications.

Info on Access:

Speeds % served 2017 % served 2018
25/3 97.93 93.20
100/20 48.85 32.63

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: 74

This entry was posted in County Profiles 2018 by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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