Crow Wing County Broadband Profile 2021: Green Rating: Ranking out 30 of 87

Rank: 30
Code: Green
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Crow Wing County: Recent local investment will help move them forward

Crow Wing saw a nice upgrade to broadband in 2019; the coverage has remained stagnant since then. But the county decided to invest $1.5 million of CARES Act funding in broadband expansion with local provider, CTC last year. And CTC received funding in the last round of Border to Border grants. It appears as if neither of those had an impact on the last mapping effort so hopefully we sill see it in the next.

In May, TDS announced plans to install about 60 miles of fiber between Cass and Crow Wing counties by the end of the summer (2021). In August, Crow Wing County was awarded $4,495,340 for broadband improvement from the MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) from the Small Cities Coronavirus Community Development Block Grant Program. Also projected allocation of American Recovery Project ARP funds in Crow Wing is $12,617,017; broadband is one possible use.

Crow Wing County will benefit from 2 MN State Grants awarded in 2021:

  • Consolidated Telephone Company (CTC) – Stark-Ross Lake Area – GRANT $350,805 This last mile project will serve approximately 180 unserved locations in a portion of Ross Lake Township in Crow Wing County.
  • Crosslake Communications – O’Brien/Goodrich Lake Fiber Project – GRANT $618,970 This last mile O’Brien/Goodrich Lake Fiber Project will serve approximately 232 unserved households in Crow Wing County.

With an influx of actual and potential funding and a couple of engaged providers, Crow Wing get code green.

Broadband Access:

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 86.38 86.6 88.04 41.66 33.13
25/3 (2022 goal) 90.01 90.61 92.84 92.29 87.78

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%
Crow Wing 90.3 77.8 5.9 59.6

Past grants:

    2015 – Consolidated Telecommunications Company – Fort Ripley Phase II
    Grant award: $759,525
  • 2014 – Consolidated Telephone Cooperative, Region 5 Virtual Highway Project – Amount $2 million
  • 2020: CTC (Consolidated Telephone Company) – Fort Ripley/Executive Acres Project – GRANT $830,587


  • Find more articles on broadband in Crow Wing County. (
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 30 (down 4 places)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 24.69


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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