Marshall County ranks 66 (out of 87) for broadband 100/20: code red

Marshall County is not poised to meet the state speed goals for either 2022 or 2026. They have received several grants that have helped get service to the area. Part of the problem is that they started with low access to 100/20. The good news is that access to 100/20 is nearly keeping pace with access to 25/3. So the access they are getting is good, but it’s slow going and that is creating a culture of broadband haves and have-nots. They need to continue to get funding to meet the speed goals.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Marshall 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 53.08 48.20 9.2
25/3 (2022 goal) 56.11 50.84 33.49

Marshall County has benefited from five state 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  service levels to 1 Gbps down and up.
    Serving 330 unserved households, 23 unserved businesses, and 2 community anchor institutions in rural Thief River Falls in northwestern Minnesota with service levels to 1 Gigabit per second up and down.
    Serving 11 unserved households and 1 unserved business in the Alvarado area, in a remote part of Marshall County with service levels to 1 Gigabit.
    Serving 236 unserved households and 26 unserved business in rural sparsely populated areas in Kittson, Marshall, Roseau, and Lake of the Woods counties with service 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

Marshall is getting FCC funding over the next 10 years. In April (2019), Vast Broadband launched Gig access in Marshall, Pipestone and Worthington counties. It will be interesting to see the impact that will have on the overall county strides toward 2026 speed goals.

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


  • 100/20 ranking: 66
  • 25/3 ranking: 87
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 2.2
  • Number of providers: 3


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

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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