Stearns County Broadband Profile 2021: Yellow rating: Ranking out 36 of 87

Rank: 36
Code: Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Stearns County: steady, incremental improvement but new grant might help

Stearns County saw a leap in access in 2019. They have had very incremental improvement each year since. But there is some opportunity for change.

Stearns County will benefit from a MN State Grant awarded in 2021:

  • Sytek Communications – Morrison/Todd/Stearns County FTTP Project – GRANT $1,048,668 This last mile project will bring service to 130 locations in Southwest Morrison, Southeastern Todd and Northeastern Stearns counties.

Projected allocation of American Recovery Project ARP funds in Stearns is $31,239,504; broadband is one possible use.

Stearns County has the opportunity to invest in broadband with federal funding. That would help them reach ubiquitous broadband. The recent grant and consistent improvement supports their yellow sode.

Broadband Access:

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 84.71 82.41 81.07 40.17 38.01
25/3 (2022 goal) 93.26 88.04 91.72 88.96 87.58

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%
Stearns 91.3 78.8 6.9 59.2

Past grants:

  • 2017 – Albany Mutual Telephone Association – Two Rivers Area – GRANT $616,743
  • Arvig (Melrose Telephone Company) – Eden Valley & Melrose Area Project – GRANT $393,890


  • Find more articles on broadband in Stearns County (
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 36 (down 3)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: no
  • Household density: 40.09


  • Districts: CD 6
    Senate: 12, 13, 14
    House: 12B, 13A, 13B, 14A, 14B
  • 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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