Winona County ranks 24 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code red

Winona County is not poised to meet the broadband speed goals for either 2022 or 2026 unless they build a momentum comparable to the momentum they had 20 years ago.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Winona 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 86.43 86.31 81.17
25/3 (2022 goal) 86.56 86.48 92.13

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Winona has benefited from several broadband grants:

    Serving 88 unserved households, 89 unserved businesses, 2 unserved community anchor institutions, and 23 underserved households and 23 underserved businesses within Wilson, Homer, Richmond, Pleasant Hill, and Wiscoy Townships in Winona County with service levels to 1 Gigabit speed.
  • 2015 – Hiawatha Broadband Communications – Winona County Whitewater Area
    Grant Award: $247,000
    Serving 418 passings including 135 households, 70 businesses and 5 community anchor institutions in in Elba and Norton Townships including Whitewater State Park.
  • 2015 – Winona County Hiawatha Broadband Communications – Cedar Valley Area
    Grant award: $314,450
    Serving 256 households, 117 businesses and 3 community anchor institutions in area lies south and west of Winona from Hwy 61 along the Mississippi River to I-90.

Winona County was part of the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) starting in 2010, a Blandin-led and federal (ARRA) funded digital inclusion project. So there has been a focus on broadband for a decade. In fact, Winona is the home of Luminet, a early broadband provider that eventually because Hiawatha Broadband and then Schurz Communications.

Unfortunately, Winona has not kept pace. They need to build a momentum to get them on track to meet the speed goals.


  • 100/20 ranking: 24 (down from 15)
  • 25/3 ranking: 41
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 30.4
  • Number of providers: 14


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 (, 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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