Pope County ranks 54 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code red

Pope County is unlikely to meet the broadband speed goals for 2022 and 2026 without a concerted effort to put into place their 2017 feasibility study (or an updated version).

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Pope 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 68.92 23.67 24.33
25/3 (2022 goal) 76.99 61.27 60.54

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Pope County has benefited from one state broadband grant:

  • 2017 – Hanson Communications – Minnewaska Area FTTP – GRANT $4,996,791
    Serving 274 unserved households and 535 unserved businesses; and 468 underserved households and 181 underserved businesses and 11 underserved community institution in Pope County with service levels to 1Gbps.

Pope County had a feasibility study done in 2017, supported by the Blandin Foundation. They found…

Installing fiber everywhere in the county would cost about $29.3 million, according to the study.  If the combination of wireless and fiber were used, the cost would drop to about $9 million.  And in another scenario, the study excluded the city of Glenwood and used a wireless and fiber combination for the rest of the county and that was estimated to cost about $6.5 million.

They have plans in the works, and that’s a big and necessary space. Now they need to find willing partners and move forward with plans to find a way to get the money necessary to make it happen.

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


  • 100/20 ranking: 54
  • 25/3 ranking: 64
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 6.6
  • Number of providers: 8


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 (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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