(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.
|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|
|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%|
- 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
- Districts: CD 1
House: 19A, 19B, 23B, 23B
- 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)