Lincoln County ranks 76 (out of 87) for broadband 100/20: code red

Lincoln County is currently not poised to meet the state speed goals for either 2012 or 2016. But they have  momentum that began last fall and has spurred a relationship with a local provider that may increase their odds, especially if they are able to get a MN broadband grant.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 39.21 39.21 40
25/3 (2022 goal) 59.70 53.44 53.44

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Lincoln has benefited from two state broadband grants:

  • 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.
  • 2014 – Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative (ITC), Hendricks Town FTTP
    Award: $700,000. Total project cost: $1.87 million. Impact: Service to 377 homes and farms, 57 businesses and eight community institutions, all currently underserved.

With help from the Blandin Foundation, Lincoln released a feasibility study in 2018. The report discusses next steps for the county, such as looking for a partner to bring broadband to those areas without it today.

In spring of 2019, Lincoln County Board gave a green light to a county-wide grant application aimed at funding for broadband Internet access. They approved a grant application to the state’s broadband grant fund for a total of $10.5 million. All except $2 million would come from outside funding sources. The county would issue bonds for its matching share.

Early in 2019, Woodstock Communications announced plans to deploy fiber in the city of Tyler during the course of  the year.

Lincoln County could benefit from future grants. In 2019, Interstate Telecommunications Coop applied to upgrade service in Lincoln. (That doesn’t mean they will get the grant; they have only applied.)


  • 100/20 ranking: 76
  • 25/3 ranking: 83
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 4.7
  • Number of providers: 7


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 (, 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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