White Earth Reservation Broadband Profile: almost 90 percent access to 100/20

Code: Green
Population: 3529
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

White Earth Reservation has seen an increase in broadband access of 100 Mbps down and 3 up to almost 90 percent. They have the same access to 25/3, which is nice because it means the whole (served) community it built for future demand

They are one of the few communities where looking at fixed, non-mobile broadband versus wireline makes a difference. Looking at wireline, they have no access to 100/20.

Access to Fixed, Non-Mobile Broadband
Name %Broadband (25/3) 2021 %Broadband (25/3) 2019 %Broadband (100/20) 2021 %Broadband (100/20) 2019
White Earth 89.96 84.67 89.96 84.67

White Earth is the largest reservation in Minnesota. There are a number of providers around the areas, which usually helps with competition. In 2017, Garden Valley received a $1.3 million loan from a MN Border to Border Broadband grant specifically to serve areas in Mahnomen County, including portions of White Earth Reservation. In November, 2019, AT&T announced the installation of a FirstNet (Public Safety) cell site near the Reservation. The site was built to help improve coverage along the eastern edge of the White Earth Reservation.

White Earth is a Blandin Broadband Community. That helps to promote greater us of broadband but also helped to provide Wi-Fi access to community members, libraries, community workforce, and schools. During the pandemic, they even started working on cell boosters for areas without access. (You can learn more about the various Blandin-sponsored projects in the video below.)

In August 2021, White Earth got a grant to provide a combination of broadband and fiber infrastructure, and fund other services that will help students connect to internet resources and thrive in remote learning environments.

All of these efforts will help White Earth get to ubiquitous broadband.

White Earth Reservation
(get 2020 map)

Key:

  • Served: Green
  • Underserved: Purple
  • Unserved: Pink

I am doing the annual look at broadband in tribal areas – 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)

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