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.
Hubbard County ranks 39 out of 87 counties for digital equity. They are in a position where they need to work on the three pillars of digital equity: affordable access to broadband, device ownership and the skills to use them. One stand out statistic is the ranking for population with a disability (77) is higher than the rest. That may offer an opportunity for Hubbard to target services to that demographic with training or access to devices with modification to meet a variety of needs. That might be compelling to a funder and help a local population. Also, often supports targeting people with disabilities help other audiences more easily as well.
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||40|
|No HS degree||29|
|Below 150% poverty (last 12 months)||52|
|Below poverty (last 12 months)||55|
|No broadband access||36|
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:
- Laporte School District (ISD #306)
Superintendent Mr AJ Dombeck
- Nevis School District (ISD #308)
- Park Rapids School District (ISD #309)
Superintendent Lance Bagstad
Regional Development Commission
- Headwaters Regional Development Commission