Lac qui Parle ranks 9 (out of 87) for broadband 100/20: code green

Lac qui Parle is on track to meet both the 2022 and 2026 state broadband speed goals.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Lac qui Parle 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 97.35 97.35 99.36
25/3 (2022 goal) 97.35 97.35 99.14

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

In 2009 Blandin Foundation funded a feasibility study for the county and Farmers Telephone Cooperative.  The feasibility study’s engineering, operational, and market development plans were later used to support the partners’ successful ARRA funding application.

The county and Farmers were awarded a $9.6 million ARRA award in August 2010.

Construction began in late 2011 and was completed in the summer of 2014, having connected about 1,700 locations that previously had had no access to modern connections.

Unfortunately, the county seat of Madison did not qualify for the upgrade because their connection speeds were deemed too good for the upgrade. So LqP is in an unusual position where the biggest city is least-served and the rest of the county has fiber to the home.

The network has allowed home-based businesses and entrepreneurship to explode in the county, and also been a boon to small businesses. LqP’s partnership with Blandin continued through Lac qui Parle Valley School’s participation in the Blandin Broadband Communities (BBC) initiative.

LqP has benefited from two MN state grants:

  • 2017 – Farmers Mutual Telephone – City of Watson and SW Lac qui Parle County FTTP – GRANT $760,501
    Serving 136 unserved households, 15 unserved businesses, and 5 community anchor institutions within the City of Watson and several unserved areas of southwest Lac qui Parle County in western Minnesota with service levels to 1 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up.
  • 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: 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.

To get 100 percent coverage, LqP will likely need to work with Farmers (now Acria) to expand their connectivity or with another incumbent provider to match their speeds.


  • 100/20 ranking: 9 (down from 6)
  • 25/3 ranking: 15
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 4.1
  • Number of providers: 10


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, Green 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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