Chisago County Broadband Profile 2021: Green Rating: Ranking out 58 of 87

Rank: 58
Code:  Green
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Chisago County: resilience with a plan

Like several other counties, Chisago County has areas where there is one national provider (or another). Often national providers are not as engaged in rural areas as providers with roots in the community. Chicago has found creative ways to get around that in several towns in the county.

Chisago County keeps working, keeps engaging. They are a Blandin Broadband Community (BBC). You can hear them with other BBC folks in the video below, as they talk about how they are planning to respond to federal funding opportunities, such as American Recovery Plan and Community Project funds.

Through BBC, they have done a survey, where they learned that 60 percent of those surveyed not happy with broadband speed or reliability. They have also hosted a range of projects to promote broadband use and adoption. (You can see more in the video below.)

Projected allocation of American Recovery Project ARP funds in Chisago is $10,973,149; broadband is one possible use. That may help.

Few counties are as engaged as Chisago is with promoting better broadband. They have been working for years. They have come up with innovative solutions. As a report from the Institute for Local Self Reliance pointed out, they have a plan to apply for State funding one community at a time until they’re covered. With a plan like that, they get a green code, despite their numbers!

Broadband Access:

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 73.34 71.92 71.26 69.53 65.45
25/3 (2022 goal) 79.21 84.34 83.85 73.27 65.25

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%
Chisago 91.4 83.2 4.4 65.4

Past grants:

  • 2017 – CenturyLink – Fish Lake Township FTTH Project – GRANT $1,833,724
  • CenturyLink (Qwest Corporation) – Nessel Township FTTH Project – GRANT $1,657,550



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 (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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