Nobles County ranks 40 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code yellow

Nobles County is in a precarious position; they could reach broadband speed goals for 2022 and 2026 but it will take a concerted effort. Lismore Telephone is a cooperative in the area that has been active in the community. It looks like their state-funded project in 2016 only targeted speeds of 25/3, though they do offer faster services. If Nobles County can get them (or another provider) to extend services, that will increase their chances of meeting the state speed goals.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Nobles 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 77.66 77.18 59.25
25/3 (2022 goal) 80.89 79.24 76.19

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Nobles County has benefited from two MN broadband grants:

    Serving 469 unserved households, 1060 unserved businesses, and 6 unserved community anchor institutions across Nobles County with services to 25 Mbps download by 3 Mbps upload via a fixed wireless solution for nearly 1,000 passings, and fiber to obtain gigabit levels for close to 500 passings.
  • 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.

As a member of Blandin Foundation’s 2015-2016 Blandin Broadband Community cohort, Nobles County implemented nearly a dozen broadband adoption projects focused on digital inclusion, increasing public access to broadband, and improving the digital literacy skills of the county’s business community. So, they are as community focused on broadband. Late in 2018, SDN Communications partnered with local providers to expand service into Nobles County.

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


  • 100/20 ranking: 40 (down from 24)
  • 25/3 ranking: 56
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 11
  • Number of providers: 13


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 (, 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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