Itasca County Broadband Profile 2021: Yellow Rating: Ranking out 29 of 87

Rank: 29
Code: Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Itasca County: recent grant will help improve access

Itasca County has seen very small incremental increases in broadband over the last few years. But they showed a boldness in last 2020, when they decided to invest $293,000 in CARES funding in broadband with Paul Bunyan.

Projected allocation of American Recovery Project ARP funds in Itasca is $8,752,686; broadband is one possible use.

If they are able to go bold with ARP funding for broadband they may go a long way toward ubiquitous broadband, but for now, they stay at code yellow.

Broadband Access:

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 86.65 84.14 83.06 79.44 76.35
25/3 (2022 goal) 93.03 87.67 93.12 86.15 78.92

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%
Itasca 86.9 72.9 8.9 54.5

Past grants:

  • 2017 – Paul Bunyan Communications – North Central Fiber – GRANT $802,620
  • 2015 – Paul Bunyan Central Itasca County Fiber – Grant Award: $1,980,000
  • Paul Bunyan Communications – North Central Minnesota Fiber Project– GRANT $2,562,916


  • Find more articles on broadband in Itasca County. (
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 29 (down 1)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 6.54


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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