Washington County Broadband Profile 2020: Green rating: Ranking out 12 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 12
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.

Washington County: nearly there with a grant in process

Washington County has some suburban areas and some rural areas. Unlike some of the more rural counties, there is a business case for providers to come into the Washington County market. They have been part of multi-county government networks led by Dakota County that provides a middle mile base from which other providers can build.

They have been hovering around 95 percent covered since we began tracking. They will benefit from a project funded in the last MN Border to Border round, which should increase access.

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 95.8 95.8 96.1 94.97
25/3 (2022 goal) 98.45 98.44 97.21 96.52

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%
Washington 94.3% 88.4% 82.5% 67.1% 5.6%

What we learned in the past:

Washington County has some metro areas and some rural areas. Unlike some of the more rural counties, there is a business case for providers to come into the Washington County market. They have been part of multi-county government networks led by Dakota County that provides a middle mile base from which other providers can build.

Update from 2020:

Washington County will benefit from a MN Border to Border grant project funding in the last round. The ribbon-cutting was September 16 (2020):

  • 2019: Midco (Midcontinent Communications) – Scandia Project – GRANT $510,358
    This last mile project will upgrade approximately 64 unserved households and 155 underserved households in areas of Scandia in Washington County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and the City of Scandia, Midco will improve broadband service levels up to 1 Gbps download and 20 Mbps upload, meeting or exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. The broadband network will improve access to critical school e-learning applications, and health care resources; enable telecommuting options for residents; and make businesses and city institutions more efficient.
  • Total eligible cost is $1,020,717
  • Local match is $510,359

Checklist:

  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 12 (no change)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: no
  • Household density: 207.8

Details:

  • Districts: CD 2, 4, 6
    Senate: 38, 39, 43, 53, 54
    House: 38A, 38B, 39A, 39B, 43A, 43B, 53A, 53B, 54A, 54B
  • 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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