Olmstead County Broadband Profile 2020: Green rating: Ranking out 16 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 16
Code: Green

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.

Olmsted  County: recent progress but needs more

Olmsted County is the home of the Mayo Clinic, which can act as an anchor for providers looking to expand service. And they are well served, although not yet ubiquitous. In 2016, KMTelecom got a grant to serve the area. In 2017, Mediacom announced service upgrades. And now BEVCOMM has received a grant to extend service to the area. There are engaged providers and the county is getting close to ubiquitous coverage.

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 92.87 92.66 41.29 34
25/3 (2022 goal) 95.74 94.63 93.7 97.75

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%
Olmsted 92.4% 85.5% 78.3% 61.9% 3.0%

What we learned in the past:

Olmsted has benefited from a MN broadband grant:


There are two factors that seem to have led to increase in 100/20 Mbps access – the KMTelecom grant and Mediacom’s  2017 announcement it would expand service to Chatfield and Dover Township. That indicates that there are at least two providers in the area interested in providing 100/20 Mbps. The county needs to encourage those providers to expand or other providers to upgrade to the state goals.

Update from 2020:

Olmsted will see improvement with BEVCOMM’s Border to Border project awarded in the last round:

  • 2019: BEVCOMM (Pine Island Telephone Company) – NE Pine Island Fiber Project Phase I – GRANT $222,222
    This last mile project will upgrade approximately 54 unserved households, eight unserved farms, 14 unserved businesses, and one underserved household in areas of Pine Island and New Haven Townships in Goodhue County, and a small portion in Olmsted County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and Goodhue County Economic Development Authority, BEVCOMM will improve broadband service levels up to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. The use and development of broadband will provide various home-based business options, stimulate economic growth, innovation, and investment. Education, health care, agriculture, energy efficiency, and public safety will improve with high-speed Internet access.
  • Total eligible project cost is $634,920
  • Local match is $412,698


  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 16 (down 1)
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 87


  • Districts: CD 1
    Senate: 25, 26
    House: 25A, 25B, 26A, 26B
  • Find your reps

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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