Freeborn County Broadband Profile 2022: Yellow Rating: Ranking out 29 of 87

https://blandinonbroadband.files.wordpress.com/2022/12/infrastructure-grant-freeborn_tcm1045-134129.pdfRank: 29
Code: Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Freeborn County: A matter of funding momentum

Freeborn County ranks 29 for broadband access and 58 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They have hovered around 85 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up since 2019. They have 1925 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $17.9 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
Freeborn 19.5 14,114 86.36 1925  $       17,903,891.28

Freeborn will benefit from a ReConnet grant announced in September 2022:

  • The investment, provided through the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s ReConnect program, will help connect over 6,000 people, 150 businesses, and 680 farms across Freeborn, Morrison, Stearns, Houston, and Todd counties.

Freeborn County’s broadband has been stagnant since 2019. But activity is starting again. The influx of money and engaged providers has bumped Freeborn County up to code yellow last year and the ReConnect grants helps them keep it.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 86.36 85.89 84.51 83.88 34.18 94.59
25/3 (2022 goal) 86.98 88 87.94 87.92 84.31 99.44

Digital Equity:

Freeborn County ranks 52 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Freeborn County ranks 58 out of 87 for computer ownership. 89.4 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grants:

  • 2017 – BEVCOMM (Cannon Valley Telephone) – Freeborn Southwest Rural Final – GRANT $122,460
  • 2016 – CANNON VALLEY TELECOM, INC. (DBA BEVCOMM) RURAL FREEBORN – GRANT:  $150,700
  • 2015 – BEVCOMM Cannon Valley Telecom – Rural Freeborn Fiber-to-the-Premises Project – Grant award: $149,625
  • Freeborn is also getting almost $2 million in FCC funding but that is over the next 10 years.
  • Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association – SE Faribault/W Freeborn County FTTP – GRANT $953,842 This last-mile fiber optic project will bring service to 319 unserved locations, including 289 homes, 16 businesses, 11 farms, and three community anchor institutions in the townships of Clark, Foster, Kiester, Seely, Alden, Carlston, Manchester, Mansfield, and Pickerel Lake located in Southeastern Faribault and Western Freeborn counties.

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Freeborn County. (http://tinyurl.com/hw7ptnz)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 29 (up 3)
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 19.5

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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