Le Sueur County Broadband Profile 2022: Yellow rating: Ranking out 56 of 87

Rank: 56
Code: Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Le Sueur County: When Federal Funding gets in the way

Le Sueur County ranks 56 for broadband access and 84 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They have hovered around 75 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 for years. The percentage decreased this year, likely due to increase granularity of reporting. They have 3213 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $29.8 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
Le Sueur 27.0 12,811 74.92 3213  $       29,880,888.84

Le Sueur started focusing on broadband in earnest in 2018. In 2020, they became a Blandin Broadband Community. They were busy creating a local plan and have become even more active since issues with federal funding preventing them from moving forward.

LTD Broadband was awarded the opportunity to submit a long form to get federal funding (RDOF) to deploy FTTH throughout much of Minnesota, including parts of Le Sueur County. The potential RDOF award meant Le Sueur’s state grant application was no longer eligible. LTD’s application for RDOF has since been rejected. And the Minnesota PUC (Public Utilities Commission) are looking at revoking the ETC designation that LTD needed to qualify for RDOF money.

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

Bevcomm – Rural Le Sueur County Broadband Expansion Project – Phase Two – GRANT $941,576 (Learn more)

They continue to hold local broadband meetings and have encouraged local residents to get involved by applying for Minnesota Line Extension grant funding and test the FCC maps, which will dictate who gets future funding.

Le Sueur has some roadblocks but they also have some formidable champions; that is why they get a yellow rating.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 74.92 76 70.67 70.33 70.65 82.78
25/3 (2022 goal) 80.61 79.35 80.45 79.91 72.68 90.39

Digital Equity:

Le Sueur County ranks 26out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Le Sueur County ranks 22 out of 87 for computer ownership. 93.2 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grants:

  • 2016 – ECKLES TELEPHONE COMPANY (DBA BEVCOMM) RURAL HEIDELBERG– GRANT:  $188,000
  • BEVCOMM (Eckles Telephone Company) – Le Sueur County Project – GRANT $1,857,376

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Le Sueur County (http://tinyurl.com/jbg7ghy)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 56 (down 1)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 27

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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