Kittson County ranks 43 (out of 87) for broadband speed 100/20: code yellow

Kittson County made great strides in improving broadband access after 2017. It seems likely that state broadband grants to Wikstrom Telephone Company helped with the improvement. To meet the state broadband goals for 2022 and 2026, Kittson will need to encourage another big push in that direction.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Kittson 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 74.99 71.38 3.46
25/3 (2022 goal) 74.99 71.38 65.62

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Kittson is a county of broadband haves and have-nots. Those who have access have good access and the rest are unserved. The good news is that there is at least one provider in the area interested in providing fast internet; they need to encourage expansion or get others to match those speeds.

Kittson has benefited from three state broadband grants:

  • 2017 – Wikstrom Telephone – Wiktel NW MN Broadband – GRANT $1,307,785
    Serving 300 unserved homes and 31 unserved business locations in Kittson, Marshall, and Roseau Counties with services levels to 1 Gbps down and up..
  • 2016 – WIKSTROM TELEPHONE COMPANY WIKTEL NW MN – GRANT: $950,823
    Serving 236 unserved households and 26 unserved business in rural sparsely populated areas in Kittson, Marshall, Roseau, and Lake of the Woods counties in NW Minnesota with services levels to 1 Gigabit.
  • 2014 – Wikstrom Telephone, Kittson, Marshall, Roseau Broadband Extension
    Award: $425,000. Total project cost: $943,827. Impact: Service to 73 unserved and 43 underserved homes in Kittson, Marshall and Roseau counties

And they are getting almost $2 million in FCC funding but that is over the next 10 years.

Kittson County could benefit from future grants. In 2019, Wikstrom Telephone Company applied to upgrade service in Kittson. (That doesn’t mean they will get the grant; they have only applied.)

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 43 (down from 30)
  • 25/3 ranking: 67
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 1.8
  • Number of providers: 14

Details:

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, Yellow by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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