Mower County Broadband Profile 2022: Yellow rating: Ranking out 37 of 87

Rank: 37
Code:  Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Mower County: a step back with RDOF snafu with LTD Broadband

Mower County ranks 37 for broadband access and 51 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They had slow growth for a few years and now saw a small slip with 83.25 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up in 2022. The slip is likely due to increased granularity of reporting, not an actual decrease. They have 2835 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $26.4 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
Mower 23.7 16,928 83.25 2835  $       26,369,592.00

Mower County saw a great leap in access in 2019 and they have had steady growth since. They have some engaged providers in their area. They seem a little stagnant but last summer (2022) the Mower County Board of Commissioners met to talk about various options and even local investment of ARPA funding into improving local broadband. Unfortunately one of the providers they were working with was LTD Broadband.

LTD Broadband was awarded the opportunity to submit a long form to get federal funding (RDOF) to deploy FTTH throughout much of Minnesota but their 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.

But Mower County has demonstrated an interest in engaging and investing in broadband so they maintain their yellow code.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 83.25 84.95 79.03 78.56 23.31 90.2
25/3 (2022 goal) 88.91 90.13 81.14 85.22 78.47 94.78

Digital Equity:

Mower County ranks 51 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Mower County ranks 36 out of 87 for computer ownership. 91.5 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:

  • KMTelecom – Rock Dell Southwest Fiber Build – GRANT $404,709 This last mile project will serve approximately 96 unserved households, 70 farms and five unserved businesses in rural Vernon Township in Dodge County and Sargeant Township in Mower County.

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Mower County (http://tinyurl.com/j9sr5gf)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 37 (down 2)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 23.7

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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