Pennington County Broadband Profile 2020: Green rating: Ranking out 10 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 10
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.

Pennington County: makes top ten broadband list

Pennington County has done well with engaged providers and successful Border to Border grants. And they will continue to benefit with a project from Wikstrom awarded in the last grant round. Pennington has broken through the top ten best served list!

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 96.95 96.18 90.75 9.63
25/3 (2022 goal) 98.53 97.21 91.78 91.78

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%
Pennington 86.0% 75.5% 69.7% 49.5% 3.9%

What we learned in the past:

Pennington County has benefited from several MN broadband grants:

  • 2017 – Sjoberg’s Inc. – NW MN Rural Broadband – GRANT $307,088

Update from 2020:

Pennington will see improvement with one Border to Border projects awarded in the last round:

  • 2019: Wikstrom Telephone – Wiktel NW MN Broadband Project – GRANT $1,151,526
    This last mile project will upgrade approximately 316 unserved locations in areas of Kittson, Marshall, Lake of the Woods, Pennington, and Roseau Counties. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Wikstrom Telephone will improve broadband service levels up to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. This project will provide service to an area with 1.6 subscribers per route mile of cable, in some cases extending from routes placed under the 2016 and 2017 Border to Border State Grant program. Broadband service is the key to economic development, successful education services for children, and allows at-home health care monitoring in this remote area.
  • Total eligible cost is $2,558,946
  • Local match is $1,407,420



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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