Rock County Broadband Profile: current ranking 1

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.

Rock County broadband ranking went from 28 to 1.  They got a state grant in 2015 and that set them in the right direction…

Rock County Broadband Alliance (RCBA), FTTP project. Awarded $5 million to deploy fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) service for approximately 1,085 underserved and 265 unserved locations in Rock County. The total project costs are $12.85 million; the remaining $7.85 million (61 percent local match) will be provided by Alliance Communications Cooperative as an equity infusion to RCBA, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alliance. Locations include 1,261 households and farms, approximately 68 businesses and 21 anchor institutions in the Jasper, Beaver Creek and Hardwick town and rural areas surrounding Luverne.

Now Rock County is working on making the best use of their FTTH. Last summer (2018) they became a Blandin Broadband Community (BBC) and will work on broadband adoption through that initiative. In the summer of 2017, they shared their community broadband expertise by inviting the Minnesota Broadband Task Force to visit the area and learn more about the program. Here is a run down of the project in Rock County…

  • 2013 – project started
  • Sep 2014 – organized Rock County Broadband Alliance LLC dba Alliance Communications
  • Oct 2014 Submitted grant application for Rock County excluding Kanaranzi due to prevailing wage rules. $12.8M
  • Feb 2015 – grant winners announced
  • March 2015 – Begin filing for CLEC authority and a MN 911 CLEC plan for Rock County
  • March-Aug 2015 – Conversations occur regarding project costs, including prevailing wage projections. Rock County Commissioners vote to grant RCBA $1M for the project (to include Kanaranzi)
  • July 23 2015 – Bid letting meeting with contractors
  • Au 4 – Bid opening. Bids ranged from $10.5M to $15.6M Final contract awarded to Michaels Corp
  • Aug 15 – Marketing campaign starts
  • Sept 23 – Final grant contract signed
  • Sep 23 – Fiber ordered and marketing plan begins
  • Nov 15 – Feb 2016 – Construction plan developed
  • March 2016 – preconstruction meeting
  • April 2016 – construction starts
  • Fall 2016 – home installation begins

Info on Access:

Speeds % served 2017 % served 2018
25/3 68.17 99.93
100/20 66.32 99.93

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: 1

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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