Chippewa County Digital Equity Profile – ranked 54

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.


Chippewa County ranks 54 out of 87 counties for digital equity. They rank 1 for lack of broadband access, but they were not alone there. For access to broadband at speeds of 100 Mbps down and 20 up, they rank 65 so there is still some work to be done getting infrastructure investment. They rank 60 for lack on computer ownership so there’s room for improvement here.  It seems as if they need to work on three basic area of digital equity: access to broadband, access to a device and the skills to use them.

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)


Chippewa County Ranking
Access to 100/20 65
No bachelors 59
No HS degree 73
Below 150% poverty (last 12 months) 50
Below poverty (last 12 months) 30
Disability 38
No computer 60
No broadband access 1
No subscription 55
Overall average 54

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:


Pioneerland Library System
(320) 235-6106


Regional Development Commission

More Resources:

There’s a lot to take in but sometimes it’s also helpful to see what a community has done in the past, so we’ve gathered specific projects funded through the Blandin Foundation:

Project Owner Project Name Description
Upper Minnesota Valley RDC Public Sector Broadband Feasibility Study Project support for a study to determine the feasibility of constructing a fiber network connecting all public buildings in the Upper Minnesota Valley Region
Upper Minnesota Valley RDC Regional Technology Team Project support to create a regional IT professional network to ignite cross-industry collaborations so the region can fully integrate technology in day-to-day efforts and large scale planning efforts
Upper Minnesota Valley RDC IT Connect II Project support to maintain a regional IT professional network in the Upper Minnesota Valley region
Upper Minnesota Valley RDC Rural Connect Project support to create a shared marketing message and implementation strategy for the region in an effort to attract people and investment
Upper Minnesota Valley RDC Rural Connect Phase II Project support for the Rural Connect Phase II
Project Owner Project Name Description
Big Stone County Public Internet Access Project The Public Internet Access Project will provide online access to government information and resources including forms, county highway project status, and GIS information. Online access will increase awareness, options and citizen control in how they interact with county government.
Dawson / Boyd Schools Community Digital Literacy Community Digital Literacy will connect businesses, community members and students to support the creation of a digitally literate community through a Multimedia Collaboration Center, a Student Tech Team, and a hybrid (online and classroom) Teacher/Community Training Academy.
Johnson Memorial Health Services HomeStream HomeStream will demonstrate the potential for using broadband‐based remote support tools and enhanced family engagement with aging populations to define appropriate visits/hospitalizations and to achieve increased medication adherence for better health outcomes.
Lac qui Parle County Economic Development Authority (EDA) Computer Commuter Computer Commuter is an innovative mobile computer lab that increases the digital literacy of area residents and businesses, advances knowledge workers, and promotes broadband availability and digital inclusion.
Ortonville School / Ortonville EDA Community Broadband Strategies Community Broadband Strategies will increase Internet usage by 1) giving businesses an understanding of the uses and benefits access provides, 2) exposing community members to the information that they can obtain, 3) encouraging a viable economic community and a school system that uses technology, and 4) involving youth in the community’s development, thereby encouraging them to return as adults.
Pioneer Public Television Video on Rural Broadband Use During the first phase of production, Pioneer will be developing a segment of approximately 14 minutes focusing on western Minnesota individuals and organizations affected by a lack of broadband availability.  This segment will be produced in the third and fourth quarter of 2011 for submission to the national public television program, Need to Know, and will form the basis for a longer program of up to 28 minutes.
Upper Minnesota Valley RDC Community Websites This project will assist two cities (Bellingham and Echo) in the creation of community websites.
This entry was posted in MN Broadband Equity Profiles 2022 by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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