St Louis County Broadband Profile 2021: Yellow rating: Ranking out 44 of 87

Rank: 44
Code: Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

St Louis County: Incremental but consistent improvements

St Louis County was a big increase in broadband in 2019; but the improvement has been stagnant in the last couple of years. But towns in St Louis County have been participating in a special Iron Range cohort of the Blandin Broadband Communities, a broadband adoption program. It seems like that might be spurring deployment as well as adoption.

Midco activated more than 200 additional miles of fiber to create a Northern Minnesota fiber ring that adds diverse network paths in St Louis County.

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

  • Charter Communications (Spectrum) – Getchell Road – GRANT $11,400 This middle and last mile project will provide broadband service to eight unserved households in northern Duluth in St. Louis County.
  • Mediacom Minnesota LLC – Field of Dreams Hermantown Project – GRANT $624,751 This last mile project will serve approximately 267 underserved households, six underserved businesses, and one underserved community anchor institution in Hermantown in St. Louis County.
  • Paul Bunyan Communications – City of Cook GigaZone Fiber – GRANT $311,254 This last mile project will improve high-speed broadband for 57 unserved and 254 underserved locations in the community of Cook in St. Louis County.

Projected allocation of American Recovery Project ARP funds in St Louis is $54,330,132; broadband is one possible use.

St Louis County has the opportunity to invest in broadband with federal funding. That, and the recent state grants they have been awarded, would help them reach ubiquitous broadband. They are code yellow.

Broadband Access:

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 79.49 79.22 78.2 41.2 38.78
25/3 (2022 goal) 85.5 86.72 86.23 83.47 82.72

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%
St Louis 87.8 74.6 7.1 55.4

Past grants:

  • 2017 – CenturyLink – Fredenberg Township FTTH Project – GRANT $1,809,312
    2017 – Paul Bunyan Communications – North Central Fiber – GRANT $802,620
  • 2017 – MEDIACOM FAYAL TOWNSHIP – GRANT: $263,345
  • 2014 – Mediacom, Pintar Road – Award: $137,848. Total project cost: $275,697.
  • 2014 – Northeast Service Cooperative – Frontier Communications Corp., Border to Border Phase I – Award: $1.96 million.
  • 2019: Paul Bunyan Communications – North Central Minnesota Fiber Project– GRANT $2,562,916


  • Find more articles on broadband in St Louis County (
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 44 (down 5)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 12.36


  • Districts: CD 8
    Senate: 03, 06, 07, 11
    House: 03A, 03B, 06A, 06B, 07A, 07B, 11A
  • 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)
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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