Morrison County Broadband Profile 2020: Yellow rating: Ranking out 55 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 55
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.

Morrison County: steady progress but recent grant might help

Morrison County has been actively engaged in seeking better broadband for several years; they have benefited from grants most years that they have been available and will benefit from two Border to Border grants they received in the last round. They have a ways to go to meet the 2026 speed goal but each year they seem to make improvements.

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 70.03 69.64 42.74 28.83
25/3 (2022 goal) 82.7% 70.9% 65.1% 82.7%

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%
Morrison 82.7% 70.9% 65.1% 50.0% 2.1%

What we learned in the past:

Morrison County is part of the Resilient Region and was included in their research that  found that, combined, Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties could see more than $78.6 million in economic benefits over 15 years if broadband access and use improved.

Morrison County benefited from three MN broadband grants:

  • 2017 – Benton Cooperative Telephone Company – Rice Ramey – GRANT $765,015
  • 2014 – Consolidated Telephone Cooperative, Region 5 Virtual Highway Project – Amount $2 million

Update from 2020:

Morrison was featured in Broadband Communites Magazine because inacurate federal maps disqaulified them from applying for funding.

Morrison County will benefit from two MN Border to Border grants awarded in the last round:

  • 2019: 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
  • 2019: Benton Cooperative Telephone Company – Ramey Phase I – GRANT $936,759
    This last mile project will serve approximately 253 unserved households, nine unserved businesses, two unserved town halls, and 97 unserved farms in the Ramey ILEC exchange in portions of Alberta and Granite Ledge Townships in Benton County, and portions of Hillman, Lakin, and Morrill Townships in Morrison County, and a portion of Page Township in Mille Lacs County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Benton Cooperative Telephone Company will improve broadband service levels to at least 25 Mbps download and 25 Mbps upload, and a maximum speed of 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload, meeting or exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. These homes and businesses will have faster access to needed crop prices, ordering parts, educational opportunities, and telemedicine services.
  • Total eligible project cost is $2,676,454
  • Local match is $1,739,695


  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 55 (down 2)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 11.3


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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