Koochiching County ranks 46 (out of 87) for broadband 100/20: code yellow

Koochiching County will need lots of work and investment to reach the MN state goals for 2022 and 2026. But, Koochiching is in a better position than many counties, both because they have a very active group of community advocates and because they have a willing provider partner interested in working with them.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Koochiching 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 73.41 73.44 68.55
25/3 (2022 goal) 81.22 73.50 68.56

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Koochiching has benefited from one MN state grant:

  • 2015 – Midcontinent Little Fork Middle Mile
    Grant award: $277,448
    Midcontinent will build out broadband middle mile infrastructure between Little Fork and International Falls following MN11 to US71 to CR22 to provide state speed goal broadband service and above to 258 passings.

Koochiching has been working with the Blandin foundation on the Iron Range Broadband Communities (IRBC) initiative with the Koochiching Tech Initiative leading the way. They are working with Paul Bunyan Communications on a 2019 broadband grant application, which if funded, could offer services to more than 1,200 locations in Kabetogama, Pelland Junction, Ericsburg and Ray. (That’s about 10 percent of Koochiching’s total population.)

Koochiching County could benefit from future grants. In 2019, Paul Bunyan applied to upgrade service in Koochching. (That doesn’t mean they will get the grant; they have only applied.)


  • 100/20 ranking: 46 (down from 28)
  • 25/3 ranking: 53
  • Has worked with Blandin
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant
  • Household density: 1.9
  • 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, Yellow 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s