Freeborn County Broadband Profile 2021: Yellow Rating: Ranking out 32 of 87

Rank: 32
Code: Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Freeborn County: Stalled broadband but funding on its way

Freeborn County’s broadband has been stagnant since 2019. But activity is starting again. MidCo is extending fiber to parts of Dodge County.

Freeborn County will benefit from a MN State Grant awarded in 2021:

  • 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.

Projected allocation of American Recovery Project ARP funds in Freeborn is $5,872,813; broadband is one possible use.

The influx of money and engaged providers has bumped Freeborn County up to code yellow.

Broadband Access:

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 85.89 84.51 83.88 34.18 94.59
25/3 (2022 goal) 88 87.94 87.92 84.31 99.44

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%
Freeborn 86.8 71.1 8 55

Past grants:

  • 2017 – BEVCOMM (Cannon Valley Telephone) – Freeborn Southwest Rural Final – GRANT $122,460
  • 2015 – BEVCOMM Cannon Valley Telecom – Rural Freeborn Fiber-to-the-Premises Project – Grant award: $149,625
  • Freeborn is also getting almost $2 million in FCC funding but that is over the next 10 years.


  • Find more articles on broadband in Freeborn County. (
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 32 (down 5)
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 16.66


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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