Crow Wing County Broadband Profile 2020: Yellow Rating: Ranking out 26 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 26
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.

Crow Wing County: Recent local investment will help move them forward

Crow Wing saw a nice upgrade to broadband in 2019; the level has remained the same, and actually dipped a little in the last year. But the county has recently decided to invest $1.5 million of CARES Act funding in broadband expansion with local provider, CTC. CARES projects must be completed by December 1, 2020 so they will see improvements soon. CTC also received funding in the last round of Border to Border grants that will benefit Crow Wing County as well.

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 86.6 88.04 41.66 33.13
25/3 (2022 goal) 90.61 92.84 92.29 87.78

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%
Crow Wing 88.4% 77.4% 73.3% 56.1% 2.9%

What we learned in the past:

Crow Wing County was one of the communities studied  as part of Blandin Foundation’s 2017 Measuring Community ROI report. We found that $15,123,450 had been invested in broadband in the area. Using formulas devised to measure the impact of broadband access, Crow Wing has the potential to realize from this investment:

  • A combined household economic benefit of broadband of $67,412,150 annually
  • A combined increase in residential real estate value of $214,662,149

Included in the funding noted above, Crow Wing has benefited from three MN broadband grants:

    2015 – Consolidated Telecommunications Company – Fort Ripley Phase II
    Grant award: $759,525
  • 2014 – Consolidated Telephone Cooperative, Region 5 Virtual Highway Project – Amount $2 million

Update from 2020:

Recently, Crow Wing County has approved $1.5 million in CARES Act funding for broadband expansion through broadband provider CTC.

CTC also received funding in the last round of Border to Border grants:

  • CTC (Consolidated Telephone Company) – Fort Ripley/Executive Acres Project – GRANT $830,587
    This last mile project will upgrade approximately 279 unserved and 120 underserved locations in Morrison and Crow Wing Counties. A funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, SourceWell, IronFire Inc., Rub My Rack BBQ LLC, and CTC will help to bring reliable high-speed fiber internet services to several unserved and underserved areas within north central Minnesota. The new services will provide residents and businesses with internet speeds of 1Gbps download and upload, exceeding the Minnesota 2026 speed goal. Building a fiber-to-the-premise network that provides advanced, high-speed broadband services to households, businesses and farms in the proposed grant area will enable students to better access educational resources, families to communicate with loved ones who may be homebound or deployed by the military, businesses to grow and thrive, aging residents to live longer and healthier lives, workers to telecommute and be more productive employees. The broadband network will stimulate a more robust local area economy.
  • Total eligible cost is $1,661,175
  • Local match is $830,588


  • Find more articles on broadband in Crow Wing County. (
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 26 (down 5 places)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 22.5


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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