Benton County Broadband Profile 2022: Yellow Rating: Ranking out 25 of 87

Rank: 25
Code:  Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Benton County: big leap two years ago, incremental since then

Benton County ranks 25 for broadband access and 30 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They have hovered around 89 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up since 2019. They have 1742 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $16.2 million 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
Benton 41.9 17,315 89.94 1742 $16,199,567.70

Benton County will benefit from a border to border grant announced in December 2022:

  • Benton Cooperative Telephone Company, $1,512,951.00

Two years ago, Benton County moved the broadband needle from 26 to 88 percent for access to 100/20 Mbps after benefitting from two MN Border to Border grants. Change has been minimal since that time.

Benton receives a yellow ranking but it’s very close to green. Hopefully the Benton Cooperative deployment will keep going – maybe there’s a Phase 3 to the Phase 1 and 2 segments that have been funded in the last round of border to border grants.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 89.94 90.25 89.36 88.18 25.83 14.28
25/3 (2022 goal) 90.96 92.88 92.05 91.47 87.49 87.61

Digital Equity:

Benton County ranks 30 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Benton County ranks 18 out of 87 for computer ownership. 93.7 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past Grants:

  • 2017 – Benton Cooperative Telephone Company – Rice Ramey – GRANT $765,015
  • 2017 – Palmer Wireless – Duelm Hwy 95 – GRANT $162,814
  • 2014-CenturyLink Foley, Benton County–Balkan Township – Award: $382,883.
  • 2020: Benton Cooperative Telephone Company – Ramey Phase I – GRANT $936,759
  • Benton Cooperative Telephone Company – Ramey Phase 2 Project – GRANT $338,011

Checklist:

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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