Blue Earth County Broadband Profile 2021: Yellow Rating: Ranking out 40 of 87

Rank: 40
Code: Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Blue Earth County: Middle of the pack

Blue Earth County saw a big leap in access in 2019. Since then they have been stagnant, although they saw a small increase this year, getting them over 80 percent.

In 2020, they unveiled a feasibility study that said it could cost more than $35 million to install 1,067 miles of fiber to connect all rural areas of Blue Earth County, excluding the Mankato area and larger cities such as Lake Crystal and Madison Lake. A combination of wireless networks and fiber, about 161 miles in total, would cost about $11 million to install.

That feasibility study gives them a blueprint of plans to use to apply for federal funding being made available post- pandemic, including the Capital Project Funding and American Rescue Plan. Projection for allocation of ARP funds in Blue Earth is $13,120,883; broadband is one possible use. Working on the feasibility indicates a renewed community focus on broadband. That is why their ranking is bumped from red to yellow.

Broadband Access:

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 80.76 77.81 77.91 14.13 55.6
25/3 (2022 goal) 84.78 85.36 78.33 77.95 88.35

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%
Blue Earth 94.3 83.8 6.6 57.8

Past Grants:

none

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Blue Earth County. (http://tinyurl.com/j5pe9kr)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 40 (up 2)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 34.24

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, 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 (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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