Pennington County Broadband Profile 2022: Green rating: Ranking out 10 of 87

Rank: 10
Code: Green
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Pennington County: Still on top 10 list

Pennington County ranks 6 for broadband access and 35 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They have almost ubiquitous coverage with 99.4 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up. They have 40 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $370,000 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
Pennington 10.7 6,639 99.4 40  $            370,456.20

In 2018, Pennington went from 9 percent access to 90 percent with the help of state (border to border) and federal loan (USDA to Garden Valley). They have had steady improvement ever since, which is why they earn a green code.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 99.4 98.19 96.95 96.18 90.75 9.63
25/3 (2022 goal) 99.4 99.37 98.53 97.21 91.78 91.78

Digital Equity:

Pennington County ranks 35 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Pennington County ranks 28 out of 87 for computer ownership. 92.2 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grants:

  • 2017 – Sjoberg’s Inc. – NW MN Rural Broadband – GRANT $307,088
  • 2016 – CENTURYLINK THIEF RIVER MIDDLE MILE – GRANT: $1,324,400
  • 2016 – GARDEN VALLEY TELEPHONE COMPANY RURAL THIEF RIVER FALLS EAST – GRANT: $2,027,035
  • 2019: Wikstrom Telephone – Wiktel NW MN Broadband Project – GRANT $1,151,526

Checklist:

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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