Cook County Broadband Profile 2022: Green Rating: Ranking out 22 of 87

Rank: 22
Code: Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Cook County: stalled with pretty good coverage

Cook County ranks 22 for broadband access and 29 for digital equity out of 87 counties. Cook County was stalled at 94.5 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up for years but access has dipped in the last year to 90 percent. That is likely due to increase granularity of reporting. They have 537 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $5 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
Cook 1.8 5,936 90.95 537 $4,996,034.40

Cook County had almost 95 percent broadband coverage at speeds of 100/20 Mbps since we started tracking progress, thanks to a federal ARRA funding in 2010. Cook County has been involved with Blandin programs and the community has been engaged.

AT&T has been building FirstNet cells sites in Cook County over the last few years.

Last summer (2022), Cook County reported that a fiber cut took down internet and phone services in the county. It was a reminder that communities need speed but they also need reliability and redundancy.

Cook County’s code has been shifted from green to yellow because they have been stalled for so long and there hasn’t been a demonstration of working on the getting to the last 500+ homes.

Added Jan 3, 2023: While, it may be too late to change the code but not to mention that Cook County will see an upgrade funded by RDOF awards to Arrowhead Cooperative

While 70 percent of the county has access to Broadband, 30 percent of outlying areas had none. That changed in November 2021 when Arrowhead received $18.4 million in federal funds that will be used over the next ten years to expand high-speed broadband services in the county.

Those funds came from the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) $9.2 billion that will be awarded to broadband service providers who cover 5.22 million rural residences and businesses. The money was distributed through the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund and those dollars will finance projects in 49 states.

Broadband Access:

2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 90.95 94.5 94.5 94.5 94.5 94.46
25/3 (2022 goal) 90.99 94.5 94.5 94.5 94.5 94.5

Digital Equity:

Cook County ranks 29 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Cook County ranks 16 out of 87 for computer ownership. 94.1 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grants:

  • 2010: Cook County formed a partnership with Arrowhead Electric Cooperative, which applied for and was awarded over $16 million in federal stimulus grants and low interest loans to build a fiber-to-the-home broadband network throughout Cook County.
  • In addition, Cook County awarded Arrowhead Cooperative a $4 million grant from the 1% sales tax fund.


  • Find more articles on broadband in Cook County. (
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 22 (down 6 place)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 1.8

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 (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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