(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)
Le Sueur County: When Federal Funding gets in the way
Le Sueur started focusing on broadband in earnest in 2018. They started with a community event. Then they started working with the Blandin Foundation. In 2020, they became a Blandin Broadband Community.
They worked hard on promoting broadband use, getting good mapping in their community and getting a partner to apply for a State Broadband grant. Excitement was high until news came out with federal RDOF awards. LTD Broadband was awarded the opportunity to submit a long form to get federal funding to deploy FTTH throughout much of Minnesota, including parts of Le Sueur County.
The potential RDOF funding meant Le Sueur’s state grant application was no longer eligible. The folks in Le Sueur are frustrated. Many communities feel like they are in limbo and it doesn’t help that LTD has applied to deploy fiber but their experience is wireless.
They are in a limbo but they are not stuck. They were able to quickly turn around CARES Act funding to improve broadband. And they continue to work on learning more about working with and/or around LTD. Projected allocation of American Recovery Project ARP funds in Le Sueur is $5,602,456; broadband is one possible use. And they are poised to consider that, as their CARES investment indicates.
Le Sueur is featured in a report from the Institute for Local Self Reliance. They are experiencing barriers but they are persistent. They are a code yellow but that would upgrade to green quickly depending on what happens with RDOF.
|100/20 (2026 goal)||76||70.67||70.33||70.65||82.78|
|25/3 (2022 goal)||79.35||80.45||79.91||72.68||90.39|
|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%|
- 2016 – ECKLES TELEPHONE COMPANY (DBA BEVCOMM) RURAL HEIDELBERG– GRANT: $188,000
- BEVCOMM (Eckles Telephone Company) – Le Sueur County Project – GRANT $1,857,376
- Find more articles on broadband in Le Sueur County (http://tinyurl.com/jbg7ghy)
- 100/20 Mbps ranking: 55 (down 1)
- Has worked with Blandin: yes
- Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
- Household density: 24.08
- Districts: CD 1
Senate: 19, 20, 23
House: 19A, 20A, 20B, 23B
- Find your reps
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)