Fillmore County Broadband Profile 2020: Red Rating: Ranking out 75 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 75
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.

Fillmore County: ReConnect award could put them back on track

Fillmore County has been hovering around 50 percent access to 100/20 Mbps broadband since we began tracking progress. Earlier this year they received a $5.4 million award from the USDA, which should be able to put them on a better track to ubiquitous access to 100/20 Mbps. Unfortunately, COVID has stalled that effort but they are still moving forward. Luckily for the community, a fixed wireless provider (MiBroadband) had also stepped up to provide service that can be deployed more quickly.

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 53.47 50.3 44.19 44.11
25/3 (2022 goal) 61.52 57.89 45.02 59

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%
Fillmore 83.6% 74.3% 65.9% 51.1% 2.3%

What we learned in the past:

Fillmore has benefited from three MN broadband grants:

  • 2017 – Rushford Village/Rural Rushford Fiber Build – Grant $2,011,628
  • 2017 – Mediacom Minnesota LLC – Fountain 2018 Broadband Build – GRANT $202,125
  • 2016 – ACENTEK RURAL LANESBORO FIBER BUILD – GRANT: $1,777,936

Update from 2020:

Late last year (Nov 2019), MiBroadband launched fixed wireless service to Fountain, Peterson and Spring Valley in Fillmore County. In January (2020), Harmony Telephone received a USDA ReConnect award to better serve Fillmore County. They received a $2.7 million ReConnect Program loan and a $2.7 million ReConnect Program grant to construct a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network to connect 577 households, a health care center and a critical community facility spread over 143 square miles in several counties bordering southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. Unfortunately, COVID has stalled some of those plans, which means residents were able to take advantage of MiBroadband, while Harmony continues to work on fiber.

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Fillmore County. (http://tinyurl.com/hxe6jal)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 75 (down 5)
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 9.9

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 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 (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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