Anoka County Broadband Profile 2021: Green Rating: Ranking out 12 of 87

Rank: 12
Code: Green
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Anoka County’s standing as metro county helps draw providers

As a fairly (but not entirely) metro county, it is easier for providers to make a business case to serve Anoka. They received an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant in 2013, which has helped serve government facilities. As a report from the Institute for Local Self Reliance pointed out, the networks in Anoka County have done little to improve residential or commercial Internet access, though they have led to significant local government savings.

Last year, the Anoka County Regional Economic Development worked with the Blandin Foundation’s Community Broadband Resources program to help the cities of East Bethel, Columbus, Nowthen and Linwood Township with broadband improvement projects. Linwood Township partnered with Midco to connect a 50+ single family development to broadband services.  Linwood is also considering options to improve fiber connections in other unserved or underserved portions of their community.

Anoka County saw an increase in coverage this year. They slipped in the ranking but that has more to do with other counties catching up than their own access getting worse. They have applied for Broadband Infrastructure Program (BIP) funds with a project that would serve 834 unserved residents. That is why they get a green code.

Broadband Access:

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 97.41 97.14 97.45 97.86 96.1
25/3 (2022 goal) 98.72 98.57 98.8 98.87 97.56

Computer Access:

County Households with computer …with desktop or laptop …with ONLY  smartphone …with a tablet et al
State of MN 93.6% 80.6% 7.7% 63.8%
Anoka 96.2 84.8% 6.3 67.2%

Previous Grants:

  • 2013: The County received federal (ARRA) funding in 2013. In partnership with Zayo, the County was able to build a 287-mile broadband network for government facilities.



  • Districts: CD 6
    Senate: 31, 35, 36, 37, 38, 41
    House: 31A, 31B, 35A, 35B, 36A, 36B, 37A, 37B, 38A, 41A, 41B
  • 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, MN County Profiles 2021 by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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