Yellow Medicine ranks 78 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code red

Yellow Medicine is not poised to meet the broadband speed goals for either 2022 or 2026 but they created a project for a grant application in the last round. It wasn’t funded, but that sets the stage for engagement later.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 38.86 37.72 19.28
25/3 (2022 goal) 68.31 46.91 20.42

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Yellow Medicine County has benefited from broadband grants:

    Serving 1029 unserved households, 29 unserved businesses, and 11 unserved community institutions in and around the towns of Porter, Taunton, Minneota, Ghent, and Canby, between Canby and Marshall in Yellow Medicine and Lyon with service levels in the project area to 200 Mbps down by 20 Mbps up..
  • 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.

Yellow Medicine is getting almost $2 million in FCC funding but that is over the next 10 years.

In 2018, Yellow Medicine released a Blandin Foundation-supported feasibility study

It does not look to be economically feasible to immediately build fiber everywhere without significant grant funding. … The scenarios that mix fiber and wireless technology look feasible. The scenarios can work even without grant funding, but some level of grant funding make the scenarios safer for an investor.

There was game changing possibility:

We note that as this report was being written that the county announced a tentative agreement with Farmers Mutual Cooperative to bring fiber to a significant portion of the county. The county has agreed to provide $4 million in funding subject to the Cooperative being able to find grants and other funding needed to build the project. If completed this project would cover a little less than half of the parts of the county that don’t have broadband today.

In December 2019, the Yellow Medicine County Board talked about the need to step “up effort to expand broadband Internet service to rural counties.”

They did not get that funding but having a feasibility study in place and a relationship with providers that will help them get to the speed goals, despite current numbers.

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


  • 100/20 ranking: 78 (down from 69)
  • 25/3 ranking: 77
  • Has worked with Blandin
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant
  • Household density: 5.6
  • Number of providers: 7


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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