Kandiyohi County saw a great leap in broadband access in the last year. They need to do more, and they have had some bad luck, but it seems like they have the right momentum to possibly meet the state speed goals for 2022 and 2026.
|Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date|
|100/20 (2026 goal)||72.89||10.64||8.4|
|25/3 (2022 goal)||86.23||77.20||77.25|
There are a few counties in Minnesota whose broadband stories might make a good opera. Unfortunately, Kandiyohi is one of them. They have been focused on better broadband for years. Kandiyohi was a Blandin Broadband Community, which means they had support building broadband adoption. They have a broadband committee that have spearheaded a feasibility study and encouraged visits from policymakers, such as Lt Governor Tina Smith.
Representative Dave Baker, from the area, has been a champion for better broadband in the legislature.
Kanabec has benefited from state broadband grants:
- 2016 – FRONTIER KANDIYOHI INITIATIVE – GRANT: $1,015,275
Serving 1147 unserved households, 7 unserved businesses, and 7 unserved community anchor institutions in rural areas within Kandiyohi County, including the Atwater, Kandiyohi, Svea, Prinsburg, Raymond, and Lake Lillian exchanges to improve service levels to a minimum of 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up, meeting the 2022 state speed goal.
- 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.
Then in 2017, Consolidated Telecommunications Co. (CTC) was awarded a $4.94 million grant to improve serves in New London, Spicer and Willmar, and Frontier was awarded a grant of $1.02 million to improve service in rural Kandiyohi County. Unfortunately, the CTC project did not work out.
Kandiyohi isn’t resting. In May 2019, Kandiyohi Commissioner Roger Imdieke was promoting State funding for broadband grants. In June, the County Board voted to help fund an engineering study that will examine the feasibility of bringing broadband to rural homes and businesses in Dovre, Mamre and St. Johns townships. They are partnering with Arvig and may be applying for a 2019 broadband grant.
Kandiyohi County could benefit from future grants. In 2019, MidState and Midco applied to upgrade service in Kandiyohi. (That doesn’t mean they will get the grant; they have only applied.)
- 100/20 ranking: 47 (up from 86)
- 25/3 ranking: 42
- Has worked with Blandin: yes
- Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
- Household density: 19.4
- Number of providers: 14
- Find more articles on broadband in Kandiyohi. (http://tinyurl.com/z9wk7bm)
- Districts: CD 7
House: 17A, 17B
- Find your reps
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)