Becker County Broadband Profile 2020: Yellow Rating: Ranking out 50 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 50
Code: Yellow

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.

Becker County: from last to midrange ranking is progress!

In 2016, Becker got a boost in the form of a MN Border to Border grant; they went from bottom ranking (87) last year to ranking 50 in the race to countywide coverage of 100/20 Mbps. While 50 is not good standing, it is a great leap and a trajectory in the right direction. It looks like that momentum is poised to continue; Becker will benefit from a recent grant through Arvig that will improve service in Becker, Clay and Otter Tail Counties.

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 73.41 6.22 12.95 6.58
25/3 (2022 goal) 78.99 91.36 88.94 69.41

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%
Becker 86.1% 74.8% 69.3% 53.3% 3.3%

What we learned in the past:

Last year we saw that much of Becker County is served by one large national provider. That is likely a bottleneck to better access. They have benefited from a 2016 MN state grant in their area:

  • 2016PAUL BUNYAN COMMUNICATIONS HUBBARD, BECKER & ITASCA COUNTIES – GRANT: $1,742,232

It appears as if the impact of that project is now documented in the maps as they went from 6 percent coverage to more than 73 percent coverage since last year’s county profile.

Update from 2020:

Becker will benefit from a recent MN Border to Border grant:

  • Arvig (Loretel Systems, Inc.) – Cormorant Lakes Area Project – GRANT $430,780
    This middle and last mile project will upgrade approximately 481 unserved locations near Pelican Lake, Lake Ida, Turtle Lake, and Big Cormorant Lake in Otter Tail, Becker, and Clay Counties. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and Otter Tail County, Arvig will improve broadband service levels up to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. These investments will improve quality of life and business development opportunities.
  • Total eligible project cost is $1,230,800
  • Local match is $800,020

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Becker County. (http://tinyurl.com/jkah37b)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 50 (up from 87)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 9.2

Details:

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 uncategorized 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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