Brown County Broadband Profile 2020: Red Rating: Ranking out 47 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 47
Code: Red

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.

Brown County: Improvement will be expensive, but they are looking

In 2017, Brown County looked like they were poised to meet speed goals. They have seen little improvement since then, but they will benefit from a Border to Border grant project funded in the last round. That project will help 51 unserved households, 13 unserved businesses, and 64 unserved farms in the New Ulm area in Brown County. Hopefully that will help build a momentum moving forward.

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 74.6 74.5 73.76 72.89
25/3 (2022 goal) 83.67 83.66 96.31 95.92

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%
Brown 86.5% 76.1% 68.8% 51.3% 3.6%

What we learned in the past:

Brown County has benefited from two MN state broadband grants:

  • 2107 – New Ulm Telecom, Inc.– Hanska A&D FTTP – GRANT $324,894
  • 2016 – New Ulm Telecom, Inc. – Hanska – GRANT: $ 200,397

Update from 2020:

Brown County will benefit from a Border to Border Grant awarded in the last cycle:

  • 2019: Nuvera Communications, Inc. – New Ulm SW Project – GRANT $385,600
    This last mile project will serve 51 unserved households, 13 unserved businesses, and 64 unserved farms in the New Ulm area in Brown County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Nuvera Communications, Inc. will improve broadband service levels up to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the 2026 state speed goal. This fiber-to-the-premises network will provide reliable, affordable, high quality broadband to rural farms, businesses, and homes. Broadband access will enable these businesses and residences to utilize new technology and tools to grow and enhance their business and community. Residents will also have increased access to health care and education, that will allow them to thrive in a modern world.
  • Total eligible cost is $1,101,713
  • Local match is $716,113

In March 2020, Nuvera reported that construction had begun on in rural areas of Sleepy Eye, Hutchinson, Mazeppa and Aurelia, Iowa. An enhanced fixed wireless solution was also installed in rural New Ulm by St. George. Fiber overbuilds were completed in four housing development areas in Prior Lake.


  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 47 (down 3 places)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 17.4


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 (, 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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