Cass County Broadband Profile 2021: Red Rating: Ranking out 71 of 87

Rank: 71
Code:  Red
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Cass County: multiple providers coming to the area

In the last year, CTC has been working (with special COVID-related funding from DEED) to reach unserved area. Also, CTC received CARES Act funding from both Crow Wing and Cass County to build broadband to unserved areas of Welton Road, County Rd 10, Border Lake, Little Pine Road and unserved areas in Lake Edward Township. Earlier in the summer, Lake Shore City put out a request for bids from broadband providers to help improve connectivity, especially in light of increased need do to COVID restrictions.

TDS is also in the area with about 60 miles of fiber between Cass and Crow Wing counties, which was scheduled to be built by the end of the summer (2021).

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

  • West Central Telephone Association – Rural Staples Phase 2 – GRANT $465,050 This last mile project will serve 56 unserved locations in extremely rural areas of Wadena and Cass counties.

The hope is that improvements will be seen in the next broadband maps. There is some danger that community members aren’t riled up because the access to 25/3 is fairly high, which means some people are probably satisfied while others can get by. Increased need for broadband due to pandemic restrictions may help light a fire and projected allocation of American Recovery Project ARP funds in Cass is$5,775,454; broadband is one possible use. That may help too. However until the maps come out or increase passion for broadband is evident, they get a red code.

Broadband Access:

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 64.02 63.21 51.61 35.92 34.07
25/3 (2022 goal) 94.02 84.53 88.02 77.58 66.92

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%
Cass 87.3 72.2 8.8 52.8

Past grants:

  • 2016 – TDS TELECOM CASS & CROW WING COUNTIES — GRANT: $3,000,000
  • 2014 – Consolidated Telephone Cooperative, Region 5 Virtual Highway Project – Award $2 million
  • 2020: CTC received CARES Act funding from both Crow Wing and Cass County.
  • 2019: Paul Bunyan Communications – North Central Minnesota Fiber Project– GRANT $2,562,916
  • 2019: WCTA (West Central Telephone Association) – Rural Staples Phase I Project – GRANT $555,355

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Cass County. (http://tinyurl.com/hgtulgm)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 71 (down 5 from last year)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 5.54

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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