Houston County Broadband Profile 2022: Yellow Rating: Ranking out 38 of 87

Rank: 38
Code:  Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Houston County: recent incremental change

Houston County ranks 38 for broadband access and 19 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They have seen incremental improvement since we started tracking it; in the last three years they have great gotten traction with a 82.98 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up in 2022. They have 1486 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $13.8 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
Houston 15.3 8,731 82.98 1486  $       13,819,950.66

Houston 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.

Houston County broadband has improved incrementally in the last year, likely due to a MN State Broadband grant with AcenTek in 2019.

They have seen improvement. In fact, they saw the fifth greatest increase in county ranking this year! Up 13 places! But without receiving a grant last year and a history of not much change, it seems unlikely that they will get to ubiquitous broadband but their improvement has earned them a code yellow.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 82.98 75.26 69.66 67.81 66.63 65.08
25/3 (2022 goal) 92.87 92.86 77.1 72.94 71.29 72.23

Digital Equity:

Houston County ranks 19 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Houston County ranks 53 out of 87 for computer ownership. 90.2 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grant:

  • 2019: AcenTek – Rural Houston Exchange FTTH – GRANT $2,895,318

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Houston County. (http://tinyurl.com/zst4kf5)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 38 (up 13 places)
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 15.3

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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