Becker County Broadband Profile 2022: Yellow Rating: Ranking out 48 of 87

Rank: 48
Code: Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Becker County: stuck in the middle?

Becker County ranks 48 for broadband access and 34 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They have more than 78 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up. They have 4228 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $39 million to get to ubiquitous broadband in the county.

County Housing Unit Density Number of Housing Units 100/20 Mbps houses unserved Cost to close the gap
Becker 13.6 19,620 78.45 4228 $39,321,423.00

Becker County has 92 percent access to slower Internet speeds (25/3) and 78 percent access to 100/20. (As the chart below indicates.) The gap is concerning, especially since it first showed up last year. This means someone has invested in improvement but they did not invest in speeds that will meet future needs. Also they rank 48 for broadband access and 38 for digital equity; those are very middle of the road scores. A concern is that there’s no local champion or drive for better broadband.

Good news is that local provider Arvig committed to spending almost $20 million on upgrades in Becker, Otter Tail and Redwood Counties.

Becker County gets a cautious yellow code; they are close and are getting closer but there isn’t a great drive for more.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 78.45 73.42 73.41 6.22 12.95 6.58
25/3 (2022 goal) 92 92.53 78.99 91.36 88.94 69.41

Digital Equity:

Becker County ranks 38 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Becker ranks 34 out of 87 for computer ownership. 83.7 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grants

  • 2016 – PAUL BUNYAN COMMUNICATIONS HUBBARD, BECKER & ITASCA COUNTIES – GRANT: $1,742,232
  • Arvig (Loretel Systems, Inc.) – Cormorant Lakes Area Project – GRANT $430,780

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Becker County. (http://tinyurl.com/jkah37b)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 48 (up from 57)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 13.6

I am doing the annual look at broadband in each county – based on maps from the Office of Broadband Development and news gathered from the last year. I’m looking at progress toward the 2022 (25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up) and 2026 (100 Mbps down and 20 Mbps up) and will code each:

  • Red (yikes)
  • Yellow (warning)
  • Green (good shape)
This entry was posted in County Profiles 2022, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

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

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