St. Louis County Broadband Profile: current ranking 63

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.

St Louis broadband ranking has dropped from 56 to 63. Their coverage of 100/20 access actually improved a bit but not keeping pace with other counties.

St Louis County has received several state broadband grants. Including a $1.8 million grant via CenturyLink in the last round of funding

CenturyLink, Inc. has been awarded $1.8 million in state Border-to-Border broadband grants to improve broadband service as part of the $3.6 million  project in the Fredenberg Township near Duluth, Lt. Governor Tina Smith and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced.

CenturyLink will invest more $1.8 million in company funds to bring fiber to the home (FTTH) and higher internet speeds to more than 800 households and businesses in CenturyLink service areas in Fredenberg Township.

And a grant through Paul Bunyan Communications

Paul Bunyan Communications has been awarded a Border to Border Broadband Grant from the state of Minnesota to expand its fiber optic services to portions of St Louis, Hubbard and Itasca Counties.
As a result, the cooperative will begin expansion construction next spring that will pass a minimum of 830 locations. The areas include the Hwy 34 corridor between Nevis and Park Rapids in Hubbard County, portions of the Side Lake Area that include locations in both Itasca County and St. Louis County, and an area Southeast of Bigfork and North of Scenic Highway. The project is estimated to cost $1.78 million, with Paul Bunyan Communications contributing $980,990, and the State of Minnesota
Border to Border grant contributing $802,620.

Hopefully that will help increase access.

Unfortunately St Louis has been experiencing problems with one of their providers, Frontier. That being said, several Minnesota communities have had trouble with Frontier, which is why the PUC held several public meetings with Frontier around the state last summer (2018).

Info on Access:

Speeds % served 2017 % served 2018
25/3 82.72 63.47
100/20 38.78 41.20

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: 63

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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