Cottonwood County Broadband Profile 2021: Red Rating: Ranking out 66 of 87

Rank: 66
Code: Red
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Cottonwood County: Served in the town, stagnant outside

Windom, the county seat of Cottonwood County, has had an enviable municipal broadband network since 2004. Folks in Windom are well served. But outside of Windom, connections are mixed.

Unfortunately, the county has been stuck since 2018 with minor updates. Although according to a report from the Institute for Local Self Reliance, has been using CARES funding to get more people online. And projected allocation of American Recovery Project ARP funds in Cottonwood is $2,171,395; broadband is one possible use.

Maybe recent influx of funds or increased need due to COVID will spur more attention on broadband in Cottonwood, although most of the activity still seems to hover around Windom and that is why they get a red code.

Broadband Access:

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 67.2 66.67 66.67 66.34 19.24
25/3 (2022 goal) 71.12 72.79 74.17 67.89 60.52

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%
Cottonwood 85.8 70.9 7.7 52

Past grants:

  • 2015 – MVTV Wireless Middle Mile – Grant award: $808,080
  • 2010 – ARRA funding for City of Windom – SWMBG will build FTTP (Fiber to the Premise) infrastructure to eight rural communities in Southwestern Minnesota.


  • Find more articles on broadband in Cottonwood County. (
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 66 (down 4 places)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 6.86


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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