Polk County Broadband Profile 2021: Green rating: Ranking out 17 of 87

Rank: 17
Code: Green
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Polk County: Closing in on top 10

Polk County has better than 90 percent broadband coverage and they part of three State broadband grants to get better broadband:

Polk County will benefit from a few MN State Grants awarded in 2021:

  • Garden Valley Technologies – Northwest Thief River Falls and Euclid – GRANT $1,640,722 This middle and last mile project will serve 104 unserved and 22 underserved locations in portions of Marshall and Polk counties.
  • Halstad Telephone Company – North Fisher Expansion – GRANT $619,000 This last mile project will upgrade approximately 57 unserved and seven underserved locations in portions of Huntsville, Nesbit and Fanny townships in Polk County.
  • Wikstrom Telephone Co. Inc. – Wiktel NW MN Broadband 2020 – GRANT $490,997 The last mile project will serve 153 unserved locations in sparsely populated areas in Kittson, Marshall and Polk counties.

Projected allocation of American Recovery Project ARP funds in Polk is $6,082,855; broadband is one possible use.

Polk County has the opportunity to invest in broadband with federal funding. That, and the three recent grant awards, would help them reach ubiquitous broadband. They are code green.

Broadband Access:

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 91.72 91.76 88.35 85.39 80.89
25/3 (2022 goal) 93.02 93.09 93.11 93 90.78

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%
Polk 85.9 72.8 8 54.2

Past grants:

  • 2015 – Halstad Telephone Company – Gentilly Township – Grant award: $424,460
  • 2014 – Halstad Telephone Co., Halstad Tract MN 11902500 FTTH Amount $1.65 million
  • 2019: Halstad Telephone Company – Rural East Grand Forks Expansion Project – GRANT $440,000


  • Find more articles on broadband in Polk County (http://tinyurl.com/zk8apgm)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 20 (down 3)
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 6.19


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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