Fillmore County Broadband Profile 2021: Red Rating: Ranking out 75 of 87

Rank: 75
Code: Red
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Fillmore County: ReConnect award could put them back on track

Fillmore County has been hovering around 50 percent access to 100/20 Mbps broadband since we began tracking progress.

Last year they received a $5.4 million award from the USDA, which should be able to put them on a better track to ubiquitous access to 100/20 Mbps. COVID stalled that effort but a fixed wireless provider (MiBroadband) had also stepped up to provide service that can be deployed more quickly. One strange issue is that now 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. Hopefully the ReConnect is back on track.

AT&T has built a FirstNet tower in the area. Projected allocation of American Recovery Project ARP funds in Fillmore is $4,085,815; broadband is one possible use.

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

  • AcenTek – Rural Peterson Exchange FTTH – GRANT $1,492,096 This last mile project will serve 214 unserved households, 18 unserved businesses, 88 unserved farms, and two unserved community anchor institutions as well as 47 underserved households and five underserved businesses in areas of Fillmore and Winona counties. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota and Fillmore County EDA, AcenTek will improve these 374 locations’ broadband levels up to 1 Gbps download and 100 Mbps upload.
  • MiBroadband, LLC – Rural Preston FTTP – GRANT $1,173,330 The Rural Preston fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) project will serve 231 unserved and 26 underserved locations in the rural portions of southern Fillmore County.

Hopefully the ReConnect will get on track and the influx of money will spur improved broadband but at this point the community needs to get engaged; that is why they maintain a code red.

Broadband Access:

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 56.36 53.47 50.3 44.19 44.11
25/3 (2022 goal) 92.42 61.52 57.89 45.02 59

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%
Fillmore 85.4 74.6 5.4 53.4

Past grants:

  • 2017 – Rushford Village/Rural Rushford Fiber Build – Grant $2,011,628
  • 2017 – Mediacom Minnesota LLC – Fountain 2018 Broadband Build – GRANT $202,125
  • 2016 – ACENTEK RURAL LANESBORO FIBER BUILD – GRANT: $1,777,936
  • (2020), Harmony Telephone received a USDA ReConnect award to better serve Fillmore County. They received a $2.7 million ReConnect Program loan and a $2.7 million ReConnect Program grant.

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Fillmore County. (http://tinyurl.com/hxe6jal)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 75 (same)
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 9.36

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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