Pine County Broadband Profile 2022: Red rating: Ranking out 86 of 87

Rank: 86
Code: Red
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Pine County: working hard but not getting through

Pine County ranks 77 for broadband access and 86 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They have hovered around 35-40 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up since we have been tracking. There is a slight dip in access this year but it is within a margin of error and may simply reflect a more granular look at access. They have 10959 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $102 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
Pine 11.8 16,886 35.1 10959  $    101,918,830.20

Pine County will benefit from a border to border grant announced on December 2020:

  • East Central Energy, $4,750,000.00 (serving Pine and Kanabec) (Learn more)

Pine County has been actively seeking better broadband for years; they were part of a Blandin Broadband Communities cohort a few years ago. Unfortunately, much of Pine County is served by one large national provider. That may be a bottleneck to better access in those areas due to the lack of competition can impact the drive for improvement.

They are still code red, but that represents their barriers more than their hard work and perseverance.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 35.1 39.89 39.13 37.26 38.18 37.37
25/3 (2022 goal) 44.74 52.02 60.24 58.28 42.84 40.12

Digital Equity:

Pine County ranks 86 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Pine County ranks 63 out of 87 for computer ownership. 88.8 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grants

  • 2017 – SCI (Savage Communications Inc.) — Dell Grove Township Broadband Expansion – GRANT $118,248

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Pine County (http://tinyurl.com/ha8burg)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 86 (same)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant
  • Household density: 11.8

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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