Brown County: rank 44 (out of 87) for access to 100/20: code red

The numbers available make it difficult to assess exactly where Brown County is and in which direction they are going.  What is clear is that the access to 100/20 hasn’t changed much since 2017. In 2017, they were likely in the top 10; today,  the rest of the state is catching up with them. It will take a concerted effort for Brown County to move ahead in the rankings.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Brown 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 74.50 73.76 72.89
25/3 (2022 goal) 83.66 96.31 95.92

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Brown County has benefited from two MN state broadband grants:

  • 2107 – New Ulm Telecom, Inc. – Hanska A&D FTTP – GRANT $324,894
    Serving 9 unserved households and 38 unserved businesses in the Hanska area south of New Ulm near the border of Brown and Watonwan Counties.
  • 2016 – NEW ULM TELECOM, INC. HANSKA – GRANT: $ 200,397
    Serving 14 unserved households and 32 unserved businesses in Lake Hanska Township in Brown County and Riverdale Township in Watonwan County.

A few years ago, there appeared to be a lot of broadband activity in Brown County. They are near Sibley and Renville Counties, which have been very active in improving access but there hasn’t been much action evident in Brown County in the last year.

Brown County could benefit from future grants. In 2019, Minnesota Valley Tel. Co. (MVTC) and Nuvera applied to upgrade service in Brown. (That doesn’t mean they will get the grant; they have only applied.)


  • 100/20 ranking: 44 (up 17 places)
  • 25/3 ranking: 48 (slipped 33 places)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 17.4
  • Number of providers: 13


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. I’m looking at progress toward the 2022 (25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up) and 2026 (100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up) and will code each:

  • Red (yikes)
  • Yellow (warning)
  • Green (good shape)
This entry was posted in County Profile 2019, Red 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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