Brown County Broadband Profile 2022: Yellow Rating: Ranking out 45 of 87

Rank: 45
Code: Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Brown County: maybe some deployment will spur more

Brown County ranks 45 for broadband access and 34 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They have seen incremental improvement up to almost 80 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up since 2017. They have 2361 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $22 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
Brown 19.0 11,780 79.96 2361 $21,954,621.60

Brown County will see improvement based on a border to border grant announced in December 2022.

  • Nuvera Communications, Inc., $3,839,000.00 to serve 497 unserved and 181 underserved locations in the rural areas of Brown County

In December 2021, Federated Rural Electric acquired a wireless internet company with a promise to expand access and pursue grants in Jackson, Cottonwood, Nobles, Martin, Murray and Brown Counties.

Brown County is seeing an improvement to yellow code due in great part to the nearly $4 million grant for a $7.6 million project in Brown County. Hopefully that will spur greater engagement moving forward.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 79.96 75.99 74.6 74.5 73.76 72.89
25/3 (2022 goal) 84.88 84.66 83.67 83.66 96.31 95.92

Digital Equity:

Brown County ranks 34 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Brown County ranks 43 out of 87 for computer ownership. 91 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grants:

  • 2107 – New Ulm Telecom, Inc.– Hanska A&D FTTP – GRANT $324,894
  • 2016 – New Ulm Telecom, Inc. – Hanska – GRANT: $ 200,397
  • 2019: Nuvera Communications, Inc. – New Ulm SW Project – GRANT $385,600
  • Minnesota Valley Telephone Company (MVTC) – Rural Franklin Fiber Project – GRANT $226,800. This middle and last mile project will serve approximately 45 unserved locations in the City of Franklin and the townships of Sherman, Eden, Camp and Birch Cooley in Redwood, Renville and Brown counties.

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Brown County. (http://tinyurl.com/z2wwkye)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 45 (up 2 places)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 19

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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