Lake County Broadband Profile 2021: Green rating: Ranking out 19 of 87

Rank: 19
Code: Green
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Lake County: ARRA award may have been bumpy, but they are well served

Lake County received an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) award in 2010 to build Fiber to the Home (FTTH). That grant came with a lot of bumps in the road, but now more than 90 percent of the very remote county has access to 100/20 Mbps broadband. It started as a public network; it’s now privately owned but people are well served.

The full Lake County story if feature in a report from the Institute for Local Self Reliance. It is a David versus Goliath tale. The report points out that educating the community helped build support and make the network happen. Lake County was a Minnesota Intelligent Rural Community (MIRC) participant through the Blandin Foundation, a program that promoted better broadband use; that helped build momentum.

Lake County needs a push to get to ubiquitous broadband. Projected allocation of American Recovery Project ARP funds in Lake is $2,063,756; broadband is one possible use. That could help. Cable and wireless provider Zito Media is deploying near Fall Lake Township. Maybe they will extend or that will build momentum. Because of their action, Lake County remains a code green.

Broadband Access:

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 93.32 93.39 93.4 94.3 94.32
25/3 (2022 goal) 93.34 93.85 93.86 94.3 94.32

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%
Lake 89.1 75.3 8.4 56.8

Past grants:

  • In 2010, Lake County received an ARRA award of $66.3 million to improve broadband access in their area; about $10 million of the award was an outright grant; the rest was a low-interest loan. There were bumps along the road to getting fiber to the community but now they are well served.


  • Find more articles on broadband in Lake County (
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 19 (down 4)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: no
  • Household density: 1.93


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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