Isanti ranks 72 (out of 87) for access to broadband of 100/20: code red

Isanti County is not poised to meet MN state speed goals for either 2022 or 2026. They seem to have a decreased in access from 2018 to 2019, which may be an err or a correction from the previous round of mapping. Either way, they are not poised to meet the state’s speed goals.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 48.05 56.62 49.29
25/3 (2022 goal) 73.50 73.67 53.52

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

For years and Isanti County has been part of the East Central Regional Broadband Group just north of the Twin Cities. It is an area that is largely served by one large national provider, as the map below indicates. That lack of competition has been a roadblock, further exacerbated by consequences of federal CAF II funding.

In 2018, a Blandin Foundation report looked at the impact of Federal CAF II funding in two towns in Chisago, Isanti and Kanabec Counties: Lindstrom and Braham. CAF II money went to qualifying providers to subsidize network deployments that can deliver service of at least 10/1. The study found that while some areas were upgraded beyond that speed; some remain at speeds that do not meet the 2022 nor 2026 MN broadband goals.

In 2018, Isanti County, with Blandin Foundation support, surveyed residents about their experience with broadband…

  • Eighty-eight percent of residents say they need better Internet-data service, 92 percent said Internet access is very important and 1 percent said it is not important.
  • Eighty-three percent of businesses say they need better Internet-data service and 95 percent said the Internet is essential to their business.
  • Sixty-six percent of businesses said limited Internet access at employees’ residences impacts their business.
  • Twenty-four percent of businesses said Internet service options impact their business’ decision to relocate or stay in the county.

Clearly the community feels the need for better broadband. Perhaps they can use the survey results to encourage a provider to move in with a plan for improvement.


  • 100/20 ranking: 72 (down from 45)
  • 25/3 ranking: 70
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: no
  • Household density: 30.9
  • Number of providers: 6


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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