Wadena County Broadband Profile 2020: Green rating: Ranking out 13 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 13
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.

Wadena County: close and getting closer

Wadena County is poised to meet the 2026 broadband speed goals. They are already at 95 percent and they will benefit from a project that received funding in the last MN Border to Border grant round.

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 95.53 91.07 49.91 45.69
25/3 (2022 goal) 95.53 93.01 92.37 88.23

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%
Wadena 80.1% 68.0% 59.9% 45.0% 1.8%

What we learned in the past:

Wadena, as part of the Resilient Region, was part of the Blandin Broadband Communities (BBC).

Wadena has benefited from a state broadband grant:

  • 2015 – West Central Telephone Association Hwy 71 Wadena NORTH Expansion Project – Grant Award: $193,515

Update from 2020:

Wadena County will benefit from a project that received funding in the last MN Border to Border grant round:

  • WCTA (West Central Telephone Association) – Rural Staples Phase I Project – GRANT $555,355
    This last mile project will serve 69 unserved households and 40 unserved businesses, farms, and community anchor institutions in areas of Staples and Villard townships in Todd County; areas of Thomastown township in Wadena County; and areas of Becker township in Cass County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Sourcewell, and Region 5, WCTA will improve broadband service levels up to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. Broadband access will allow farmers and ranchers to follow markets, talk with customers and reach new markets, and use the latest precision agriculture tools to enhance their operations. The broadband network will improve access to health care, specifically mental health and senior care through e-visits and tele-health applications. Broadband will also help business owners manage remotely and could stimulate the local economy.
  • Total eligible cost is $1,234,123
  • Local match is $678,768

Checklist:

  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 13 (up 6)
  • Has worked with Blandin
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant
  • Household density: 10.5

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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