Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 22
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.
Clearwater County: stalled with pretty good coverage
Clearwater County seems to have benefited from a Garden Valley Telephone Company upgrade in 2018. At that time, they look poised to meet the 2026 speed goals but not much has happened since.
AT&T launched a new FirstNet cell site in Clearwater County in 2020. That cell site may have spurred some improvements, or it may have taken advantage of existing infrastructure. The mapping available precedes the cell site announcement so it’s difficult to tell. But it seems likely that AT&T would include a local infrastructure upgrade, which we may see reflected in next year’s map.
|100/20 (2026 goal)||89.32||89.3||89.3||73.41|
|25/3 (2022 goal)||99.74||99.74||99.58||99.58|
|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%|
What we learned in the past:
Clearwater has been well poised for broadband for several years, but there has been little improvement in the last couple years. There is almost ubiquitous coverage for 25/3 Mbps access, but they need more to reach the 2026 goals. In 2018, Garden Valley Telephone Company received a $20 million loan from the USDA to deploy fiber in Polk, Clearwater, Pennington, Marshall and Red Lake counties. That may be the leap the county needs to close the gap for the 2026 goal.
Last year, we saw that much of the County is served by one large national provider. That may be a bottleneck to better access in those areas, because as we noted last year, lack of competition can impact the drive for improvement.
Update from 2020:
AT&T launched a new FirstNet cell site in Clearwater County.
- Find more articles on broadband in Clearwater County. (http://tinyurl.com/homdjrt)
- 100/20 Mbps ranking: 22 (down 5 places)
- Has worked with Blandin: no
- Has received a MN Broadband grant: no
- Household density: 3.4
- Districts: CD 7
House: 02A, 02B
- 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)