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.
Roseau County ranks 74 out of 87 counties for digital equity. The standout ranking for Roseau County is broadband subscription rate at rank 86 and computer ownership is not terrific at rank 52. Their rank for broadband access at speeds of 100 Mbps down and 20 up; but that doesn’t entirely explain the low subscription rates. 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. The good news is that they have been working on digital equity, so they have the local expertise and community engagement.
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||61|
|No HS degree||39|
|Below 150% poverty (last 12 months)||13|
|Below poverty (last 12 months)||21|
|No broadband access||66|
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:
- Badger Public School District (ISD #676)
Superintendent Kevin Ricke
- Greenbush-Middle River School District (ISD #2683)
Superintendent Dr. Larry Guggisberg
- Roseau School District (ISD #682)
Superintendent Thomas Jerome
(218) 463-1471 x6366
- Warroad School District (ISD #690)
Superintendent Dr. Shawn Yates
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|
|Warroad Community Development||Lake Street to Main Street||Increase access to broadband in the City of Warroad by installing a fiber broadband backbone upon which to base future expansion throughout the region.|
|Warroad Community Development||Public Wi-Fi Access Points||Increase access to broadband in the City of Warroad by installing 5-10 free public access Wi-Fi hotspots for use by residents and visitors. Possible sites include the Warroad Public Library & Heritage Center, EMS, and government buildings.|
|Warroad Community Development||Warroad School District Sports and Special Events Broadcasting System||Increase accessibility of sports and other special events held on the school’s athletic fields to the public by installing internet access points and broadcasting equipment. In addition to enabling broadcasting, the internet access points can be utilized by the public, increasing access to the internet.|