Murray County ranks 69 (out of 87) for broadband speed 100/20: code red

Murray County is not poised to reach the state broadband goals for 2022 or 2026. However, they are supporting Lismore’s 2019 MN broadband grant proposal, which would help.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Murray 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 51.59 50.78 41.65
25/3 (2022 goal) 65.37 51 50.90

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Murray has benefited from one MN broadband grant:

  • 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.

In 2018, with support from the Blandin Foundation, released a feasibility study that is not promising…

Our analysis shows that it is not economically feasible to build fiber everywhere in the rural parts of the county using the existing Border-to-Border grant program—the 50% grant matching in that program is not high enough to create a sustainable network. However, it would be possible to fund fiber using these grants if the percent of the grant matching is increased above the 50% level used in awarding these grants today. It might also be feasible to build the fiber in stages over multiple years to get the needed grant funding.

It is likely to be a challenge for a service provider to building fiber today since almost all of the rural area is served with newly-built fixed wireless technology that is capable of delivering speeds of at least 25 Mbps download. Any potential fiber provider is going to worry that many households will be satisfied with that level of broadband speed.

Bearing that in mind in September 2019, Murray County committed up to $200,000, which could be taken from the county’s Economic Development Authority revolving loan fund, to a grant application prepared by Lismore Coop Telephone Company of Lismore.

Bearing that in mind in September 2019, Murray County committed up to $200,000, which could be taken from the county’s Economic Development Authority revolving loan fund, to support Lismore Coop’s  grant application to the state fund.

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

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 69 (down from 51
  • 25/3 ranking: 80
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 5.2
  • Number of providers: 5

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, 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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