Nicollet County Broadband Profile 2020: Yellow rating: Ranking out 41 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 41
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.

Nicollet County: steady progress but needs to continue

Mediacom announced upgrades in 2017. Consolidated Communications announced improvements in 2018. It looks like we haven’t seen the impact of the upgrades from Consolidated although the impact of Mediacom is clear. They just need to encourage providers to keep up the upgrades.

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 78.29 78.42 33.29 54.54
25/3 (2022 goal) 83.67 82.68 83.91 86.1

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%
Nicollet 89.4% 79.8% 74.6% 59.7% 4.7%

What we learned in the past:

It’s difficult to get a clear picture of Nicollet’s progress toward the speed goals given the dip in 2018 – caused by provider Nuevera going more granular with its DSL data – but it looks like Nicollet is experiencing momentum toward reaching the state’s speed goals.

Mediacom announced upgrades in 2017. Consolidated Communications announced improvements in 2018.

Nicollet County has benefited from a state broadband grant:

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

Update from 2020:

Part of Nicollet County was served by Jaguar, which was acquired by MetroNet in July (2020). MetroNet claims they will invest $150 million to grow their Minnesota market.

Nicollet is part of a consortium (Region 9) that using broadband for better telehealth, especially for better mental telehealth.


  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 41 (down 4)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 26.1


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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