Lake County Broadband Profile 2022: Yellow rating: Ranking out 36 of 87

Rank: 36
Code: Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Lake County: ARRA award may have been bumpy, but they are well served

Lake County ranks 36 for broadband access and 37 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They had hovered  around 93 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up from 2017-2021 but it dipped to 84 percent in 2022. The dip is likely the result of increased granularity of reporting. They have 1159 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $10.7 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
Lake 2.4 7,311 84.15 1159  $       10,776,779.55

Lake County received an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) award in 2010 to build Fiber to the Home (FTTH). That grant came with a lot of bumps in the road, but got them to 90 percent of the very remote county has access to 100/20 Mbps broadband. It started as a public network; it’s now privately owned but many people are well served. They are one of five counties that has not yet received border to border funding.

Last summer (2022), Lake County reported that a fiber cut took down internet and phone services in the county. It was a reminder that communities need speed but they also need reliability and redundancy.

Lake County’s code has been shifted from green to yellow because they have been stalled for so long and there hasn’t been a demonstration of working on the getting to the last 1000+ homes. They saw the one of greatest drops in broadband ranking – down 17 spots.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 84.15 93.32 93.39 93.4 94.3 94.32
25/3 (2022 goal) 84.2 93.34 93.85 93.86 94.3 94.32

Digital Equity:

Lake County ranks 37 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Lake County ranks 61 out of 87 for computer ownership. 89.1 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grants:

  • In 2010, Lake County received an ARRA award of $66.3 million to improve broadband access in their area; about $10 million of the award was an outright grant; the rest was a low-interest loan. There were bumps along the road to getting fiber to the community but now they are well served.

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Lake County (http://tinyurl.com/j7pu3le)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 36 (down 17)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: no
  • Household density: 2.4

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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