Jackson County ranks 55 (out of 87) for broadband at 100/20 speeds: code red

Jackson County is unlikely to meet the speed goals for either 2022 or 2026. The percentage unserved is great and there has been no momentum for improvement in years.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Jackson 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 68.84 68.79 68.9
25/3 (2022 goal) 70.42 68.83 68.9

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Jackson County benefited from a MN state broadband grant:

  • 2015 – MVTV Wireless Middle Mile
    Grant award: $808,080
    This project is a Middle Mile broadband infrastructure buildout to upgrade backhaul capacity between site locations within 20 southwestern Minnesota counties including Blue Earth, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Meeker, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pipestone, Rock, Redwood, Renville, Sibley Swift, Watonwan, and Yellow Medicine.

While any upgrade is good, Jackson did not see much of an increase to access after the state-funded project. In fact, Jackson County has been hovering at about 69 percent 100/20 coverage for at least three years now. In 2010, Southwest Minnesota Broadband Services (SMBS) received ARRA funds to deploy fiber to the home in Jackson and other counties; they began serving homes in December 2011 and starting research wireless options for outskirt areas at about the same time. Through SMBS, Jackso County was  also  part of the Blandin Broadband Communities  initiative in 2015-2016..

Not much has happened since then. Looking at the map you can see fiber appearing like a highway through the county, with few feeder streets. They need another concerted effort to expand or upgrade connections throughout the county.


  • 100/20 ranking: 55 (down from 33)
  • 25/3 ranking: 76
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yea
  • Household density: 6.1
  • Number of providers: 14


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 (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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