(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)
Benton County: big leap two years ago, incremental since then
Two years ago, Benton County moved the broadband needle from 26 to 88 percent for access to 100/20 Mbps after benefitting from two MN Border to Border grants. Change has been minimal since that time.
In September, they were part of a regional broadband conference, as part of the annual Blandin Broadband conference. Hopefully that will spur greatest interest and movement forward.
Benton will benefit from a MN State Grant awarded in 2021:
- Benton Cooperative Telephone Company – Ramey Phase 2 Project – GRANT $338,011 (Mille Lacs County) This last mile project will serve 119 unserved locations in the Ramey telephone exchange located in portions of Lakin and Mount Morris townships in Morrison County and a small portion of Dailey and Page townships located in Mille Lacs County.
Benton receives a yellow ranking because they are stalled. They are certainly better off than many counties but to reach ubiquitous coverage, they will need a push like they had leading up to 2019 improvement. Projection for allocation of American Recovery Project ARP funds in Benton is $7,930,170; broadband is one possible use. Maybe that will inspire them.
|100/20 (2026 goal)||90.25||89.36||88.18||25.83||14.28|
|25/3 (2022 goal)||92.88||92.05||91.47||87.49||87.61|
|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%|
- 2017 – Benton Cooperative Telephone Company – Rice Ramey – GRANT $765,015
- 2017 – Palmer Wireless – Duelm Hwy 95 – GRANT $162,814
- 2014-CenturyLink Foley, Benton County–Balkan Township – Award: $382,883.
- 2020:Benton Cooperative Telephone Company – Ramey Phase I – GRANT $936,759
- Find more articles on broadband in Benton County (https://blandinonbroadband.org/?s=benton+county&submit=Search)
- 100/20 Mbps ranking: 24 (same as last year)
- Has worked with Blandin: yes
- Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
- Household density: 37.61
- Districts: CD 7
- 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)