Oct 2021 MN County Ranking for gig speeds. How does your county rank?

The Office of Broadband Development has released the county broadband maps and numbers; the data was collected by October 2021. For archival reasons, I’ll do three different posting looking at:

Turns out the gig ranking is where all of the excitement is in terms of change in ranking. I’ll paste the numbers below but they’re available in a spreadsheet too. It’s worth nothing that the top county shows 99.59 percent of households have access to Gig access; the bottom 10 counties have less than 1 percent coverage.

Top Ten Gig Counties

County Percent ranking last year
Ranking
Clearwater 99.59 1 5
Beltrami 99.23 2 1
Stevens 96.79 3 2
Cook 94.5 4 3
Red Lake 93.85 5 6
Lake 93.23 6 4
Pennington 92.86 7 46
Lincoln 88.88 8 45
Steele 86.73 9 11
Olmsted 80.56 10 33

Worth noting that all of these are rural counties! Big congrats to the new counties on this short list, especially to Pennington, Lincoln and Olmsted.

I hear policy makers talking about ways to use public funding to build networks only required to get to speeds of 25/3 and I think about the deepening divide between those areas and these counties. These counties, especially given rural standing, make the case that we can aim higher.

Bottom Ten Counties

County Percent ranking Last year Ranking
Benton 0.79 78 73
Anoka 0.13 79 75
Faribault 0.09 80 80
Isanti 0.06 81 79
Pine 0.01 82 86
Kanabec 0 83 82
Martin 0 84 84
Mille Lacs 0 85 85
Ramsey 0 86 81
Washington 0 87 76

There’s not much change in the bottom list. Harder to go lower than 1 percent. But it’s interesting to look at the counties on the list. Ramsey County ranks third for access to 100/20 and lands 86 for Gig access. Anoka is number 11 with access to 25/3 and number 79 here.

Looking at these reports for several years, I’ve seen the leap-frogging that can happen when a community is focused on (or limited or funded) to a specific speed. Usually I’ve seen it with access to 25/3. A community aims and succeeds and they are top of the game for a limited time. More recently we’ve seen that those “successful” communities become ineligible for funding for improvement. The thirst for broadband is ever increasing with new applications and post pandemic reliance on remote access. The once successful communities get left behind like the Little League baseball player who stops practicing. I think the top of the Gig chart are the communities that are ready.


County Percent ranking
Clearwater 99.59 1
Beltrami 99.23 2
Stevens 96.79 3
Cook 94.5 4
Red Lake 93.85 5
Lake 93.23 6
Pennington 92.86 7
Lincoln 88.88 8
Steele 86.73 9
Olmsted 80.56 10
Kittson 80.13 11
Lac qui Parle 79.23 12
Winona 76.09 13
Wadena 75.89 14
Grant 71.99 15
Jackson 68.84 16
Itasca 67.64 17
Dodge 65.96 18
Wabasha 65.86 19
Freeborn 65.15 20
Marshall 55.33 21
Goodhue 54.73 22
Hubbard 54.15 23
Big Stone 52.94 24
Cottonwood 50.2 25
Houston 49.76 26
Mahnomen 49.14 27
Rock 47.94 28
Rice 47.52 29
Swift 47.52 30
Morrison 44.24 31
Sibley 43.92 32
Crow Wing 42.54 33
Polk 40.95 34
Norman 40.7 35
Pope 39.91 36
Scott 39.06 37
Roseau 36.59 38
Todd 36.06 39
Carver 34.8 40
Becker 33.9 41
Douglas 32.35 42
Cass 31.28 43
Fillmore 26.94 44
Renville 26.93 45
Waseca 26.12 46
Wilkin 26.04 47
Mower 25.1 48
Lake of the Woods 22.81 49
Otter Tail 20.76 50
Watonwan 18.58 51
Hennepin 17.62 52
Nicollet 17.47 53
Clay 17.12 54
Chippewa 15.86 55
Aiktin 15.58 56
Nobles 14.96 57
Traverse 14.57 58
Pipestone 12.85 59
Stearns 12.31 60
Meeker 10.72 61
Wright 9.59 62
McLeod 8.81 63
Chisago 7.7 64
Koochiching 7.51 65
Lyon 7.11 66
St. Louis 6.97 67
Redwood 6.47 68
Le Sueur 5.16 69
Dakota 4.96 70
Murray 4.66 71
Brown 4.01 72
Carlton 4.01 73
Sherburne 3.6 74
Blue Earth 2.79 75
Kandiyohi 1.73 76
Yellow Medicine 1.25 77
Benton 0.79 78
Anoka 0.13 79
Faribault 0.09 80
Isanti 0.06 81
Pine 0.01 82
Kanabec 0 83
Martin 0 84
Mille Lacs 0 85
Ramsey 0 86
Washington 0 87

Source: Connected Nation, Oct. 2021.

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