Kanabec County Broadband Profile 2022: Red Rating: Ranking out 87 of 87

Rank: 87
Code: Red
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Kanabec County: ranking last due to barriers

Kanabec County ranks 87 for broadband access and 87 for digital equity out of 87 counties. Kanabec remains at the bottom of the ranking with less than 25 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up. Their access has actually decreased, which probably reflects an increased granularity of reporting within a margin of error. They have 5920 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $55 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
Kanabec 14.5 7,735 23.46 5920  $       55,059,431.70

Kanabec will benefit from a border to border grant announced in December 2022:

  • East Central Energy, $9,403,000.00

Much Kanabec County is served by one large national provider. That may be a bottleneck to better access in those areas, because lack of competition can impact the drive for improvement.

The community of Kandiyohi deserves better than code red. Their situation is outside of their control in many ways. But their barriers remain.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 23.46 26.24 26.41 26.93 38.54 26.07
25/3 (2022 goal) 36.51 60.34 60.75 66.05 67.07 34.04

Digital Equity:

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

Kanabec County ranks 69 out of 87 for computer ownership. 88.4 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grants:



  • Find more articles on broadband in Kanabec County. (http://tinyurl.com/gvyes6n)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 87 (same)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 14.5

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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