Mahnomen County Broadband Profile 2021: Yellow rating: Ranking out 62 of 87

Rank: 62
Code: Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Mahnomen: Steady growth increases access

Mahnomen County saw a huge increase in access from 17 percent to 57 percent in 2020. They saw another increase to 72 percent this last year. Unfortunately, their ranking decreased but that’s because other counties did better, not because they were stagnant.

They have an engaged provider but with such a low population density, it’s difficult to make a business case to serve 3.5 households per square mile. Also, Mahnomen was found to be one of the top 10 MN counties for highest digital equity needs, based on access to broadband, digital training and accommodations to increase access during COVID. Almost 13 percent of households report that a smartphone is their only access to broadband.

Projected allocation of American Recovery Project ARP funds in Mahnomen is $1,071,928; broadband is one possible use. It would help hugely if they allocated some of the money for broadband infrastructure and some for access to address the digital inequity.

They potential is there and they are on a steady page forward; they are upgraded to a code yellow.

Broadband Access:

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 71.73 57.82 17.31 13.53 13.03
25/3 (2022 goal) 87.15 81.58 89.87 76.93 71.95

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%
Mahnomen 79.3 55.4 12.8 44.7

Past grant:

  • 2017 – Garden Valley Telephone Company – Bejou – GRANT $1,304,421


  • Find more articles on broadband in McLeod County (
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 62 (down 9)
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 3.10


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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