Otter Tail County Broadband Profile 2021: Red rating: Ranking out 67 of 87

Rank: 67
Code: Red
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Otter Tail County: recent progress but needs more

Otter Tail County is seeing steady, incremental improvement to their broadband access, likely because they have also benefited from a number of MN Border to Border grants.

They have seen a greater increase in access to 25/3, which can be detrimental for long term planning. Going from nothing (or very slow) to 25/3, customers will be comparatively pleased, which may reduce their interesting in investing in a more long-term solution. Also, it is interesting to see a provider upgrade to only 25/3.

Projected allocation of American Recovery Project ARP funds in Otter Tail is $11,393,425; broadband is one possible use.

Otter Tail County has the opportunity to invest in broadband with federal funding. That would help them reach ubiquitous broadband; this is where the increase in access to 25/3 might get in the way of popular opinion on the choice. They are code red.

Broadband Access:

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 67.02 65.55 35.34 2.36 1.75
25/3 (2022 goal) 90.97 75.02 92.93 89.56 59.34

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%
Otter Tail 86.4 72.7 8 54.2

Past grants:

  • 2017 – Arvig – Pelican Rapids rural non-ACAM – GRANT $633,642
  • 2017 – Otter Tail Telcom LLC – Red Oak Drive – GRANT $173,683
  • 2017 – WCTA (West Central Telephone Association) – Wadena Rural Phase III – GRANT $874,581
  • 2016 – OTTER TAIL TELCOM BATTLE LAKE – GRANT: $ 238,170
  • 2016 – OTTER TAIL TELCOM FERGUS FALLS AREA – GRANT: $ 279,271
  • 2016 – WCTA WADENA RURAL NORTH — GRANT: $718,850
  • 2015 – Otter Tail Telcom Fergus Falls 864 – Hwy 59 – Grant award: $295,432
  • 2015 – Otter Tail Telcom Hwy 59/94 PRT to POM – Grant award: $164,207
  • 2014 – Otter Tail Telcom, Stuart Lake – Award: $105,364.
  • 2014 – Otter Tail Telcom, 245th – Award: $108,553.
  • 2019: Otter Tail Telcom LLC – Long and Fish Lakes Project – GRANT $156,954
  • 2019: Arvig (Loretel Systems, Inc.) – Cormorant Lakes Area Project – GRANT $430,780

Checklist:

Details:

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 (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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