Wadena County ranks 16 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code yellow

Wadena County is in good shape for meeting the state speed goals for both 2022 and 2026. Their numbers are pretty good, they made great strides in the last year, but they will need to build on that momentum to meet the goals.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 91.07 49.91 45.69
25/3 (2022 goal) 93.01 92.37 88.23

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Wadena has benefited from a state broadband grant:

  • 2015 – West Central Telephone Association Hwy 71 Wadena NORTH Expansion Project
    Grant Award: $193,515
    Serving 162 households, 43 businesses, and 3 community anchor institutions in the Wadena area and Highway 71 corridor north of Wadena.

Wadena, as part of the Resilient Region, was part of the Blandin Broadband Communities (BBC). That has brought broadband activities to the area and spurred conversation.

In September 2019, Senator Klobuchar’s staff held a listening session in Wadena County. While Wadena is largely served, we heard from the folks who aren’t. They can’t get online; they can’t even get cell services. It was a reminder that even in counties that are well served, most have some families that are not.

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


  • 100/20 ranking: 16 (up from 53)
  • 25/3 ranking: 24
  • Has worked with Blandin
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant
  • Household density: 10.5
  • Number of providers: 10


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 (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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