Every year, the Blandin on Broadband blog posts County Broadband Profiles (and will do again when the new maps come out) but given federal opportunities are making it possible to get funding for access and adoption, I thought I’d try to present information for counties to assess their digital equity standing (see table below) and give options for who to contact locally for more information.
Becker County ranks 38 out of 87 counties for digital equity – middle of the pack. Their individual rankings are more informative. They rank 19 for access to broadband at 100 Mbps up and 20 down. That’s pretty good. Yet, they rank 49 for folks with no broadband. It might indicate a divide in the community where some people have very good access, and some have nothing. Also, they rank 58 for percentage of population with disability. That may be an opportunity to create programs that use technology to promote better adaptation for people. Something like that might be compelling to funders and have a create impact on the community.
Scroll down for details and suggested resources for more information.
Blandin Foundation is using the Microsoft Digital Equity Tool to determine needs by county and make high level recommendations for next steps to consider based on the data. (With special thanks to Carter Grupp, Broadband Coordinator Broadband Coordinator at American Connection Project for Otter Tail County.) Visit the tool if you want to look up more statistics on your community.
Demographic Data and Ranking (out of 87)
|Access to 100/20||18|
|No HS degree||36|
|Below 150% poverty (last 12 months)||47|
|Below poverty (last 12 months)||44|
|No broadband access||49|
The map below shows digital inequity by census tract. The bluer the better; yellow and orange colors indicate more inequity. This map can be helpful in figuring out which parts of your county need the most help.
So where do you go to talk to people in the county about digit equity plans? Good places to start include:
- Detroit Lakes Public School District (ISD #22)
Superintendent Mark Jenson
- Frazee-Vergas Public School District (ISD #23)
Superintendent Terry Karger
- Lake Park-Audubon School District (ISD #24)
Superintendent Dr. Timothy Godfrey
(218) 325-0754 x1072
- Pine Point School District (ISD #25)
Superintendent Christopher Schulz