Scott County Broadband Profile 2020: Yellow rating: Ranking out 19 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 19
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.

Scott County: Great government network, stalled progress

As part of the 7-county metro area, Scott County is a fairly metro county, so they have the advantage of proximity to the Twin Cities and some higher population density areas. Their real advantage, however, is a government network built in 2007, that brought broadband to the area and spurred partnerships that have helped that broadband grow.

Their progress toward the 100/20 Mbps goal, however, has been stalled for as long as we have been keeping tracking. They need renewed motivation. Maybe that will come in the form of benefitting from a project that was awarded a grant in the last round of the MN Border to Border funding.

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 89.43 89.15 88.61 88.38
25/3 (2022 goal) 97.13 96.43 94.5 96.1

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%
Scott 94.6% 89.0% 84.3% 67.9% 4.7%

What we learned in the past:

Scott County started in 2007 with a 94-mile fiber-optic ring. At the time it was the largest government-owned, high-speed network in the state, and one of the largest in the nation. In 2014, county officials detailed the advantages of the network saying that Scott County Government paid $35,000/year less for better broadband than before they built their own network.

Scott County has benefited from one MN broadband grant:

  • 2017 – Jaguar Communications – Sand Creek Township Area Broadband Project – GRANT $192,405

Update from 2020:

Broadband Properties Magazine featured Scott County’s broadband story, highlighting their partnerships in March 2020. Here’s a quick outline of events.

  • 2002: works with school district and the county seat of Shakopee to build a hub-and-spoke network connecting public facilities.
  • 2007: Minnesota Emergency Safety Board decided to upgrade the county 911 system – Scott goes fiber
  • 2008: Using public-safety grant money in combination with tax-levy dollars, Scott County implemented a countywide fiber ring with Zayo
  • 2009: expanded westward to join the Carver County network and swapped two fibers for two of Carver County’s fibers And in other directions with other providers
  • 2015: enters into a joint-build partnership with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community that saved hundreds of thousands of dollars for both parties

Scott County will benefit from a project funded in the last round of Border to Border grants:

  • 2019: BEVCOMM (Eckles Telephone Company) – Le Sueur County Project – GRANT $1,857,376
    This last mile project will upgrade approximately 417 unserved households, 88 unserved farms, 59 unserved businesses, and 4 community anchor institutions in rural areas around the communities of Montgomery, Heidelberg, and New Prague in Le Sueur, Rice, and Scott Counties. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and Le Sueur County, BEVCOMM will improve broadband service levels up to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. Sustainable broadband adoption will transform these unserved areas into highly-productive rural communities. This use and development of broadband will provide various home-based business options, stimulate economic growth, and stimulate innovation and investment. Education, health care, agriculture, energy efficiency, and public safety will improve with high-speed Internet access.
  • Total eligible project cost is $3,714,752
  • Local match is $1,857,376

Checklist:

  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 19 (down 1)
  • Has worked with Blandin
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant
  • Household density: 122.4

Details:

  • Districts: CD 2
    Senate: 20, 55, 56
    House: 20A, 55A, 55B, 56A
  • 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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