Meeker County Broadband Profile 2022: Yellow rating: Ranking out 61 of 87

Rank: 61
Code: Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Meeker County: building momentum with state grants

Meeker County ranks 61 for broadband access and 50 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They have had steady increase in access since 2017 with 72;85 53 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up in 2022. They have 5527 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $51.4 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
Meeker 16.4 10,576 72.85 2871  $       26,703,871.20

Meeker County will benefit from a few border to border grants announced in December 2022:

  • Meeker Cooperative Light & Power Association (Vibrant Broadband) – Big Swan Lake – GRANT $94,182
  • Meeker Cooperative Light & Power Association (Vibrant Broadband) – Collinwood Lake – GRANT $104,337
  • Meeker Cooperative Light & Power Association (Vibrant Broadband) – Dunns & Richardson Lakes – GRANT $80,202
  • Meeker Cooperative Light & Power Association (Vibrant Broadband) – Lake Erie – GRANT $19,093
  • Meeker Cooperative Light & Power Association (Vibrant Broadband) – Long Lake – GRANT $29,702 (Learn more)

Last year, Meeker Cooperative built fiber to the home in Litchfield.

Meeker County has been engaged in broadband expansion for years. In  2017, Meeker County released a broadband feasibility study, with Blandin Foundation’s support. They released an update in 2018.

They are starting to get the push necessary to get them ubiquitous broadband so they have upgrades from code red to yellow. In fact, they saw the one of greatest increases in county ranking this year! Up 11 places!

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 72.85   53.86 45.08 45.08 38.13
25/3 (2022 goal) 75.01   62.46 71.72 71.45 98.58

Digital Equity:

Meeker County ranks 50 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Meeker County ranks 41 out of 87 for computer ownership. 91.1 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grants:

  • MN State Grant awarded in 2021: Meeker Cooperative Light & Power Association (Vibrant Broadband) – Lake Koronis – GRANT $41,927 This last mile project will serve approximately 28 unserved and seven underserved locations in Union Grove Township in Meeker County.
  • 2019: Nuvera Communications, Inc. – Hutchinson W Project – GRANT $346,282

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Meeker County (http://tinyurl.com/gltzvoc)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 61 (up 2)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 16.4

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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