Anoka County Broadband Profile 2020: Green Rating: Ranking out 9 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 9
Code: Green

Annually, Blandin Foundation pulls together data from the Minnesota Office of Broadband Development and broadband news to gauge progress toward the state broadband goals (25 megabits per second download/3 Mbps upload by 2022 and 100 Mbps/20 Mbps by 2026).. Leaders can use this information to improve broadband access and use in their communities. To see how the state is doing overall, or to compare counties, visit the Blandin Foundation interactive map. Or check out past years’ reports: 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Anoka County Top 10 but limited improvements lately

As a fairly (but not entirely) metro county, it is easier for providers to make a business case to serve Anoka. They received an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant in 2013, which has helped serve government facilities. Their coverage has slightly slipped in the last few years, albeit by less than a percentage point. Their ranking has slipped too, as other counties improve their coverage. However, early in 2020, they began working with the Blandin Foundation to find a way to serve their unserved areas.

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 97.14 97.45 97.86 96.1
25/3 (2022 goal) 98.57 98.8 98.87 97.56

Computer Access:

County Households with computer …with desktop or laptop …with a smartphone …with a tablet et al …with other
State of MN 90.3% 81.1% 76.5% 59.3% 3.5%
Anoka 92.7% 85.1% 79.7% 62.3% 3.0%

What we learned in the past:

The County received federal (ARRA) funding in 2013. In partnership with Zayo, the County was able to build a 287-mile broadband network for government facilities.

Update from 2020:

Anoka County Regional Economic Development has been working with the Blandin Foundation’s Community Broadband Resources program to help the cities of East Bethel, Columbus, Nowthen and Linwood Township with broadband improvement projects.

City of Nowthen, East Bethel and Columbus are looking to partner with one or more providers to build out the last-mile fiber network to all those unserved or underserved in their community. They are considering a variety of strategies and funding to solve their broadband issues.

Linwood Township is partnering with Midco to connect a 50+ single family development to broadband services.  Linwood is also considering options to improve fiber connections in other unserved or underserved portions of their community.



  • Districts: CD 6
    Senate: 31, 35, 36, 37, 38, 41
    House: 31A, 31B, 35A, 35B, 36A, 36B, 37A, 37B, 38A, 41A, 41B
  • Find your reps

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 MN County Profiles 2020 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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