Cottonwood County Broadband Profile 2022: Red Rating: Ranking out 72 of 87

Rank: 72
Code: Red
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Cottonwood County: stuck with two thirds served

Cottonwood County ranks 72 for broadband access and 76 for digital equity out of 87 counties. Cottonwood County has been stalled at 67 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up since 2018. They have 1699 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $15.8 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
Cottonwood 7.9 5,152 67.02 1699 $15,801,905.28

Windom, the county seat of Cottonwood County, has had an enviable municipal broadband network since 2004. Folks in Windom are well served. But outside of Windom, connections are mixed.

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.

Cottonwood County maintains their red code because they have a big gap to close to get to their goal and they have been stuck in the same place since 2018.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 67.02 67.2 66.67 66.67 66.34 19.24
25/3 (2022 goal) 74.11 71.12 72.79 74.17 67.89 60.52

Digital Equity:

Cottonwood County ranks 76 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Cottonwood County ranks 24 out of 87 for computer ownership. 93.1 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grants:

  • 2015 – MVTV Wireless Middle Mile – Grant award: $808,080
  • 2010 – ARRA funding for City of Windom – SWMBG will build FTTP (Fiber to the Premise) infrastructure to eight rural communities in Southwestern Minnesota.


  • Find more articles on broadband in Cottonwood County. (
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 72 (down 6 places)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 7.9

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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