Brown County Broadband Profile 2021: Red Rating: Ranking out 50 of 87

Rank: 50
Code: Red
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Brown County: Improvement will be expensive, but they are looking

Brown County has seen only very incremental broadband increase since 2017. In 2020, after receiving a state broadband grant, Nuvera reported that construction had begun on in rural areas of Sleepy Eye, Hutchinson and Mazeppa. An enhanced fixed wireless solution was also installed in rural New Ulm by St. George. That network was recently announced.

In December 2020, local legislators (Rep. Paul Torkelson, R and Sen. Gary Dahms, R) met to talk about broadband. So, it is at least on the radar. Also projected allocation of American Recovery Project ARP funds in Brown is $4,850,148; broadband is one possible use.

Brown County will benefit from a MN State Grant awarded in 2021:

  • Minnesota Valley Telephone Company (MVTC) – Rural Franklin Fiber Project – GRANT $226,800. This middle and last mile project will serve approximately 45 unserved locations in the City of Franklin and the townships of Sherman, Eden, Camp and Birch Cooley in Redwood, Renville and Brown counties.

Brown County gets a red because while legislators are interested and there is a provider that is engaging in the area, there doesn’t seem to be a lot more buzz or activity to improve broadband.

Broadband Access:

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 75.99 74.6 74.5 73.76 72.89
25/3 (2022 goal) 84.66 83.67 83.66 96.31 95.92

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%
Brown 87.4 72.8 7.5 55.3

Past grants:

  • 2107 – New Ulm Telecom, Inc.– Hanska A&D FTTP – GRANT $324,894
  • 2016 – New Ulm Telecom, Inc. – Hanska – GRANT: $ 200,397
  • 2019: Nuvera Communications, Inc. – New Ulm SW Project – GRANT $385,600

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Brown County. (http://tinyurl.com/z2wwkye)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 47 (down 3 places)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 15.92

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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