Blue Earth County Broadband Profile 2022: Yellow Rating: Ranking out 41 of 87

Rank: 41
Code: Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Blue Earth County: Middle of the pack

Blue Earth County ranks 41 for broadband access and 84 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They have seen incremental increase to 81.88 percentage access to 100 Mbps down and 20 up since 2019. They have 5285 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $49.1 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
Blue Earth 38.0 29,169 81.88 5285 $49,154,432.04

Blue Earth may see improvements through a fiber deployment Fidium Fiber, part of Consolidated Communications. Deployment to 10,000 homes will happen in Blue Earth, Nicollet, and Le Sueur counties – unless it already has. It’s difficult to tell if that upgrade would have been seen in the mapping done in October.

Blue Earth County saw a big leap in access in 2019. Since then they have been stagnant. But in  2020, they unveiled a feasibility study that said it could cost more than $35 million to install 1,067 miles of fiber to connect all rural areas of Blue Earth County, excluding the Mankato area and larger cities such as Lake Crystal and Madison Lake. A combination of wireless networks and fiber, about 161 miles in total, would cost about $11 million to install.

Blue Earth gets a yellow code because they have a feasibility study to act as a roadmap to improvement. Also computer ownership and digital equity rank indicate that local residents would be in a position to get engagement when they start feeling the pinch of inadequate broadband.

Broadband Access:

2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 81.88 80.76 77.81 77.91 14.13 55.6
25/3 (2022 goal) 92.5 84.78 85.36 78.33 77.95 88.35

Digital Equity:

Blue Earth County ranks 18 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Blue Earth County ranks 10 out of 87 for computer ownership. 95.8 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past Grants: none

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Blue Earth County. (http://tinyurl.com/j5pe9kr)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 41 (down 1)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: no
  • Household density: 38

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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