Dakota County Broadband Profile 2022: Green Rating: Ranking out 14 of 87

Rank: 14
Code:  Green
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Dakota County: Has plan, will succeed

Dakota County ranks 14 for broadband access and 1 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They have hovered around 97 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up since 2019. They have 5516 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $51.3 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
Dakota 295.4 173,469 96.82 5516 $51,301,722.06

Dakota County will benefit from two border to border awards announced in December 2022:

  • JTN Communications, $113,076.00
  • Spectrum Mid-America, LLC managed by Charter Communications Inc., $98,750.00

Dakota County has a broadband board and staff who focus on creating better broadband. Last year, the Institute for Local Self Reliance reported on Dakota County’s successful policies conducive to collaboration and reinvestment, with the result being a host of benefits which includes significant public savings for internal operations and better connections for community anchor institutions. However, residential access isn’t as good as it could be.

The Dakota Broadband Board released a report in July (2021) on the state of broadband, noting that over 17 miles of fiber were added to the network as a result of DBB projects in 2020. They outlined plans for the future and have been looking for fiber contractors, which is a sign of progress.

Having a plan and a strong history of success, it seems likely that they will get to ubiquitous broadband and that is why they are getting a code green.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 96.82 97.75 97.42 97.56 64.89 64.18
25/3 (2022 goal) 97.37 97.98 98.31 98.46 97.54 98.47

Digital Equity:

Dakota County ranks 1 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Dakota County ranks 6 out of 87 for computer ownership. 97 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grants funding:

  • 2020: Charter Communications – Rosemount North Project – GRANT $499,072
  • 2020: Dakota County approved $800,000 in CARES Act funding for broadband.
  • Nuvera Communications, Inc. – Webster Rural FTTP – GRANT $431,260 This last mile project will serve 103 unserved and 178 underserved locations in Wheatland and Webster townships in Rice County, Eureka and Greenvale townships in Dakota County, and New Market and Cedar Lake townships in Scott County.

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Dakota County. (http://tinyurl.com/hxslue9)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 14 (down 3 places)
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 295.4

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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