Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 51
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.
Pope County: near bottom of the broadband ranking
In 2017, Pope County unveiled a feasibility study that found that installing fiber everywhere in the county would cost about $29.3 million. If the combination of wireless and fiber were used, the cost would drop to about $9 million. And in another scenario, the study excluded the city of Glenwood and used a wireless and fiber combination for the rest of the county and that was estimated to cost about $6.5 million. Policymakers have publicly recognized the need for improved broadband, especially during COVID.
|100/20 (2026 goal)||73||68.92||23.67||24.33|
|25/3 (2022 goal)||80.81||76.99||61.27||62.73|
|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%|
What we learned in the past:
Pope County had a feasibility study done in 2017, supported by the Blandin Foundation. They found that installing fiber everywhere in the county would cost about $29.3 million. If the combination of wireless and fiber were used, the cost would drop to about $9 million. And in another scenario, the study excluded the city of Glenwood and used a wireless and fiber combination for the rest of the county and that was estimated to cost about $6.5 million.
Pope County has benefited from one state broadband grant:
- 2017 – Hanson Communications – Minnewaska Area FTTP – GRANT $4,996,791
Update from 2020:
Polk County hasn’t had much news to share related to broadband but Paul Gerde, chairman of Minnesota Rural Counties and a member of the Pope County Board of Commissioners, had a letter to the editor that recognizes that rural MN needs broadband to survive coronavirus.
- Find more articles on broadband in Pope County (http://tinyurl.com/hx7q9fd)
- 100/20 Mbps ranking: 51 (up 3)
- Has worked with Blandin: yes
- Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
- Household density: 6.6
- Districts: CD 7
House: 12A, 12B
- 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)