Nobles County Broadband Profile 2020: Yellow rating: Ranking out 36 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 36
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.

Nobles County: steady progress but needs to continue

Nobles County was a Blandin Broadband Community (BBC); they have deployed lots of broadband adoption programs. They have benefited from past MN Border to Border grants. In 2018, SDN found a way to expand to parts of Nobles County. They have pretty good coverage and there have been incremental upgrades but to get to the 2026 speed goals throughout the county, they will need to make a push. Because they were a BBC, they likely have a team together that might be able to take that on.

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 81.24 77.66 77.18 59.25
25/3 (2022 goal) 83.54 80.89 79.24 75.69

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%
Nobles 84.8% 70.3% 68.2% 50.7% 3.7%

What we learned in the past:

As a member of Blandin Foundation’s 2015-2016 Blandin Broadband Community cohort, Nobles County implemented nearly a dozen broadband adoption projects. Late in 2018, SDN Communications partnered with local providers to expand service into Nobles County.

Nobles County has benefited from two MN broadband grants:

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

Update from 2020:

No broadband news reported from Nobles County since the last profile.


  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 34 (up 6)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 11


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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