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.
Lake of the Woods County ranks 82 out of 87 counties for digital equity. Lake of the Woods is near the bottom of the list. Their ranking for computer ownership (80) and lack of broadband subscription (86) are particularly low. 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. They have a history of working on digital training, which will help them find local expertise and experience.
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)
|Lake of the Woods County||Ranking|
|Access to 100/20||63|
|No HS degree||35|
|Below 150% poverty (last 12 months)||58|
|Below poverty (last 12 months)||59|
|No broadband access||71|
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:
- Arrowhead Library System
- Lake of the Woods School District (ISD #390)
Superintendent Jeff Nelson
(218) 634-2735 x1506
Regional Development Commission
- Headwaters Regional Development Commission
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|
|LakeWood Health Center||LakeWood Technology Project||Project support for the Lakewood Technology project to provide communications access for patients and residents in rural Minnesota as part of the Broadband Program|
|Lake of the Woods Senior Citizens Council, Inc||Lake of the Woods Digital Inclusion Project||Project support to provide and expand digital inclusion within Lake of the Woods County to include multiple public computer/internet sites and public Wi-Fi as part of the Broadband Program|
|Lake of the Woods Economic Development Authority||Social Media Rural Connection||Project support to enhance knowledge and use of the internet for Lake of the Woods County residents in rural Minnesota as part of the Broadband Program|
|Lake of the Woods Senior Citizens Council, Inc||Lake of the Woods Digital Inclusion Project – Phase 2||Capital support to increase public access to computers and the internet by providing more computers and internet access points at several public and nonprofit locations as part of the Broadband Program in rural Minnesota|
|Lake of the Woods County||Wi Fi Hotspots||Project support to increase public access to the internet and increase traffic and business for local establishments; to provide additional training to businesses and residents and support for Google site claiming as part of the Broadband Program|
|Lake of the Woods School ISD 390||Lake of the Woods School Digital Expansion Project||Project support to increase access to technology for students and area residents|
|Pioneer Youth Center||Baudette Youth Broadband Expansion||Project support to provide interactive learning experiences for at-risk youth through access to Wi-Fi to enhance student success|