Meeker County Broadband Profile 2020: Red rating: Ranking out 74 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 74
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.

Meeker County: stalled but recent grant might help

Meeker County has been engaged in broadband expansion for years. Unfortunately, it sounds like their recognition of the need for better broadband doesn’t match actual improvement. They will benefit from a MN Border to Border grant awarded in the last round. The project is small, but hopefully will start a quest for more improvement.

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 53.86 45.08 45.08 38.13
25/3 (2022 goal) 62.46 71.72 71.45 98.58

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%
Meeker 85.3% 75.0% 69.7% 52.1% 3.1%

What we learned in the past:

Meeker County has benefited from one MN broadband grant:

  • 2015 – MVTV Wireless Middle Mile – Grant award: $808,080

In 2017, Meeker County released a broadband feasibility study, with Blandin Foundation’s support. They gave an update in 2018, “Two years ago, businesses thought they were fine with existing broadband. Now they need more. We need to focus on future needs to create a solution for today and tomorrow.”

Update from 2020:

Meeker County will benefit from a Border to Border grant awarded in the last round:

  • 2019: Nuvera Communications, Inc. – Hutchinson W Project – GRANT $346,282
    This last mile project will serve 43 households, 11 businesses, and 55 farms in areas of Cedar Mills Township in Meeker County, and Boon Lake and Brookfield Townships in Renville 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 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. This fiber-to-the-premises network will provide reliable, affordable, high quality broadband to rural farms, businesses, and homes. Residents will also have increased access to health care and education, and the opportunity to telecommute or start their own businesses.
  • Total eligible cost is $910,704
  • Local match is $564,422

Checklist:

  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 74 (same)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 14.2

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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