Every year, the Blandin on Broadband blog does 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.
Brown County ranks 34 out of 87 counties for digital equity. That is a fine ranking. Looking at the individual tracts, there isn’t an area that indicates great concern but there are some areas where Brown County does well. For poverty levels, they rank well and they do not have a great percentage of people with disabilities. Yet, they don’t rank as well with computer ownership and broadband subscriptions. There may be an opportunity to encourage residents to think differently about technology, introduce them to ways that technology can improve their lives from healthcare to education opportunities – formal and informal.
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. 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||26|
|No HS degree||37|
|Below 150% poverty (last 12 months)||21|
|Below poverty (last 12 months)||15|
|No broadband access||41|
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:
- Comfrey Public School District (ISD #81)
Superintendent Kirsten Hutchison
- New Ulm School District (ISD #88)
Superintendent Jeff Bertrang
- Sleepy Eye School District (ISD #84)
Superintendent John Cselovszki
- Springfield School District (ISD #85)
Superintendent Keith Kottke
Regional Development Commission