Steele County Broadband Profile 2021: Yellow rating: Ranking out 27 of 87

Rank: 27
Code: Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Steele County: Decent coverage but not much community engagement

Steele County has not worked with the Blandin Foundation. They have never received a MN Border to Border grant. There were home to a local provider (Jaguar), which was acquired last year. There is activity happening in their area.

The good news is that Midco has extended gig access to parts of Le Sueur, Steele, Blue Earth, Freeborn, Waseca and Dodge Counties. The difficult news is that Steele County is centered in area that is in line for federal funding but whose potential recipient has stirred controversy.

LTD Broadband was awarded the opportunity to submit a long form to get federal funding (RDOF) to deploy FTTH throughout much of Minnesota, including parts of Steele County. So they are in a sticky situation where they don’t know if LTD will get the funding, they don’t know if LTD will succeed if they do and they don’t know if they will qualify for federal or start funding because of the potential RDOF award.

Projected allocation of American Recovery Project ARP funds in Steele is $7,107,848; broadband is one possible use.

Steele County has the opportunity to invest in broadband with federal funding. That would help them reach ubiquitous broadband. They may have providers that might help make that happen. They are a yellow code community.

Broadband Access:

2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 88.95 87.05 86.86 56.16 95.64
25/3 (2022 goal) 93.26 88.29 88.44 87.79 99.86

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%
Steele 89 76.8 4.7 59.3

Past grant

none

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Steele County (http://tinyurl.com/zd4qhbu)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 27 (down 2)
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: no
  • Household density: 32.96

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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