Sibley County Broadband Profile 2020: Yellow rating: Ranking out 49 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 49
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.

Sibley County: RS Fiber should extend to the whole county

Sibley County has been working on better broadband for more than 10 years. They are a part of the original RS Fiber team. They have been a Blandin Broadband Community. They have benefited from a number of MN Border to Border grants in the past and they will benefit from two more projects that were awarded funds in the last round.

They are focused on broadband deployment and adoption, but they need a plan to get the test of the county covered.

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 62.86 62.87 62.84 51.01
25/3 (2022 goal) 74.29 73.59 63.47 71.27

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%
Sibley 85.2% 72.1% 69.2% 51.5% 5.9%

What we learned in the past:

Sibley County and Renville County are original members of RS Fiber. Ten years ago, residents were getting fed up with poor connectivity. To address the issue a Joint Powers Board was formed that ultimately included all seven cities in Sibley county as well as the city of Fairfax in Renville County. In the fall of 2012, concerned about the project’s plan for how to structure the project’s debt service reserve fund, the Sibley Board of Commissioners, in a 3-2 vote, passed a resolution to withdraw from the JPB. Undaunted, immediately following this vote, a group of farmers walked across the street and in an impromptu meeting, vowed to continue the effort by “going back to their roots” as one of them said, and form a coop.

Sibley County has benefited from three state grants:

  • 2017 – Winthrop Telephone Company, Inc. – Cornish Township FTTP Project – GRANT $365,895
  • 2015 – MVTV Wireless Middle Mile – Grant award: $808,080
  • 2014 – R-S Fiber Cooperative, FTTH Project – Award: $1 million.

Update from 2020:

Sibley County is part of a consortium (Region 9) that using broadband for better telehealth, especially for better mental telehealth.

Checklist:

  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 49 (same)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 67

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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