Yellow Medicine County Broadband Profile 2020: Red rating: Ranking out 85 of 87

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rank (from 100/20 megabits per second): 85
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.

Yellow Medicine County: some hope but no progress toward better broadband

In 2018, Yellow Medicine unveiled a feasibility study and potential plans to work with Farmers on better broadband. Farmers has worked with neighboring counties that are now well served. It doesn’t look like that network has been deployed, however. Another option has been proposed by Midco to build out fixed wireless. That was proposed in March (2020), the next mapping should show whether that happened and met the speed goals of 100/20 Mbps.

The good news is that they are having the right conversations; the bad news is that they aren’t always panning out for them.

Broadband Access:

2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 82.51 81.02 80.61 29.26
25/3 (2022 goal) 89.69 91.07 87.89 81.17

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%
Wright 91.7% 83.8% 79.6% 62.4% 3.9%

What we learned in the past:

In 2018, Yellow Medicine released a Blandin Foundation-supported feasibility study that indicates that it was not economically feasible to immediately build fiber everywhere without significant grant funding. However, at the time the county announced a tentative agreement with Farmers Mutual Cooperative to bring fiber to a significant portion of the county. The county has agreed to provide $4 million in funding subject to the Cooperative being able to find grants and other funding needed to build the project. If completed this project would cover a little less than half of the parts of the county that don’t have broadband today. Clearly that didn’t happen; but it’s a good indicator of what could help them.

Yellow Medicine County has benefited from broadband grants:

  • 2016 – MIDCO CANBY TO MARSHALL MIDDLE MILE AND LAST MILE – GRANT AMOUNT: $623,000
    2015 – MVTV Wireless Middle Mile – Grant award: $808,080

Update from 2020:

We heard from Yellow Medicine in March (2020) that Midco has Connect America Fund (CAF) funding to help build out fixed wireless – in fact they have $2.3 million for Yellow Medicine. They are proposing 10 vertical assets from which to provide fixed wireless: 5 assets in the county and 5 outside the county that will serve the county. The mapping at the Office of Broadband Development was done in April, so any improvements since March would not be tracked.

Checklist:

  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 85 (down 7)
  • Has worked with Blandin
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant
  • Household density: 5.6

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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