Clay County Broadband Profile 2020: Yellow Rating: Ranking out 23 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 23
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.

Clay County: consistent, incremental improvements over years

If slow and steady wins the race, we might want to keep an eye on Clay County. In 2010, they made the FCC list of worst served Minnesota Counties; they are much better off now. They have seen consistent improvements through the years and local provider, Arvig, received a Border to Border grant in the last round that should help improve access for the next profile.

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 87.57 82.32 82.52 74.13
25/3 (2022 goal) 90.31 95.82 95.45 83.15

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%
Clay 87.8% 79.3% 74.7% 57.9% 2.2%

What we learned in the past:

Back in 2010, Clay County made the list of the nine unserved counties in Minnesota based on the FCC Annual Broadband Report, which defined broadband as 4 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up. Clearly Clay County has improved since then. They have a local Minnesota business providing service and choice of providers in much of the county. Their improvements have been slow but steady since we started looking at improvements.

Update from 2020:

2019: Clay County will benefit from a project that was awarded Border to Border funding in the last round.

  • 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


  • Find more articles on broadband in Clay County. (
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 23 (up 6 places)
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: no
  • Household density: 21.2


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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