Pope County Broadband Profile 2020: Red rating: Ranking out 51 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 51
Code: Red

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.

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 73 68.92 23.67 24.33
25/3 (2022 goal) 80.81 76.99 61.27 62.73

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%
Pope 84.8% 75.6% 67.2% 53.1% 2.1%

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.

Checklist:

  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 51 (up 3)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 6.6

Details:

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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