Watonwan County ranks 58 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code red

Watonwan County is not primed to meet MN broadband speed goals for 2022 or 2026.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Watonwan 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 67.75 68.42 64.58
25/3 (2022 goal) 79.21 70.70 65.26

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Watonwan County has benefited from several state grants:

  • 2017 – New Ulm Telecom, Inc. – Hanska A&D FTTP – GRANT $324,894
    Serving 9 unserved households and 38 unserved businesses in the Hanska area south of New Ulm near the border of Brown and Watonwan Counties with service levels to 1 Gbps.
  • 2016 – NEW ULM TELECOM, INC. HANSKA – GRANT: $ 200,397
    Serving 14 unserved households and 32 unserved businesses in Lake Hanska Township in Brown County and Riverdale Township in Watonwan County.
  • 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.

Watonwan needs help to reach the speed goals. In November 2018, SDN announced two broadband partners to its Minnesota network, which will improve business broadband reach into two counties of that state – Nobles and Watonwan. That should help it.

In September 2019, Senator Smith visited Watonwan County to learn about the state of rural broadband.


  • 100/20 ranking: 58 (down from 34)
  • 25/3 ranking: 60
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 10.3
  • 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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