Faribault County Broadband Profile 2021: Red Rating: Ranking out 82 of 87

Rank: 82
Code: Red
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Faribault County: Needs help

Faribault County is served primarily by BEVCOMM and Mediacom. They are engaged but they are still hovering at 40 percent access. One strange issue is that they are well served at the slower speed of 25/3, which means many residents may be complacent, but it does not build for the future or attract new people of business.

In August, Faribault County was awarded $2,886,206 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 Faribault is $2,647,915; broadband is one possible use.

Faribault County will benefit from a few MN State Grants awarded in 2021:

  • BEVCOMM (Blue Earth Valley Telephone Company, Easton Telephone Company & Cannon Valley Telecom) – Rural Faribault County and Martin County Fiber Expansion Phase 2 Project – GRANT $1,182,818 This last mile project will serve approximately two unserved households, 203 underserved households, 46 underserved businesses, and 181 underserved farms in portions of Faribault and Martin counties.
  • Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association – SE Faribault/W Freeborn County FTTP – GRANT $953,842 This last-mile fiber optic project will bring service to 319 unserved locations, including 289 homes, 16 businesses, 11 farms, and three community anchor institutions in the townships of Clark, Foster, Kiester, Seely, Alden, Carlston, Manchester, Mansfield, and Pickerel Lake located in Southeastern Faribault and Western Freeborn counties.

The influx of money is hopeful but they have a steep climb and that is why they are still code red. They may benefit from intervention, such as the Blandin Accelerate program, a process to spur community acquisition and deployment of federal and state broadband funds, to find an alternative solution.

Broadband Access:

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 43.95 40.56 39.2 42.28 49.13
25/3 (2022 goal) 92.42 82.1% 71.0% 64.0% 43.5%

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%
Faribault 84 71.5 8.1 45.7


Past grants:

  • 2017 – BEVCOMM (Easton Telephone Company) – Delavan SE Rural Project – GRANT $220,350
  • 2015 – BEVCOMM Blue Earth Valley Telephone – Rural Winnebago Fiber-to-the-Premises Project – Grant award: $142,690
  • BEVCOMM (Blue Earth Valley Telephone Company & Easton Telephone Company) – Rural Faribault County Project – GRANT: $579,781
  • BEVCOMM received CARES Act funding from the County for broadband expansion.


  • Find more articles on broadband in Faribault County. (http://tinyurl.com/jzwv3gx)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 84 (down 2 spaces)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 7.53


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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