Polk County Broadband Profile 2022: Green rating: Ranking out 16 of 87

Rank: 16
Code: Green
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Polk County: Still closing in on top 10

Polk County ranks 16 for broadband access and 44 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They have had incremental improvement since we have been tracking, landing 95.24 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up in 2021 to 60.36 percent coverage in 2022. They have 696 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $6.5 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
Polk 7.3 14,623 95.24 696  $         6,473,309.64

Polk County has better than 95 percent broadband coverage. While we haven’t heard much from them in the last year, they have engaged providers who serve the county and have a history of incremental but continuous improvement. That is why they retain their green code.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 95.24 91.72 91.76 88.35 85.39 80.89
25/3 (2022 goal) 95.25 93.02 93.09 93.11 93 90.78

Digital Equity:

Polk County ranks 44 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Polk County ranks 51 out of 87 for computer ownership. 90.4 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grants:

  • 2015 – Halstad Telephone Company – Gentilly Township – Grant award: $424,460
  • 2014 – Halstad Telephone Co., Halstad Tract MN 11902500 FTTH Amount $1.65 million
  • 2019: Halstad Telephone Company – Rural East Grand Forks Expansion Project – GRANT $440,000
  • MN State Grants awarded in 2021: Garden Valley Technologies – Northwest Thief River Falls and Euclid – GRANT $1,640,722 This middle and last mile project will serve 104 unserved and 22 underserved locations in portions of Marshall and Polk counties.
  • Halstad Telephone Company – North Fisher Expansion – GRANT $619,000 This last mile project will upgrade approximately 57 unserved and seven underserved locations in portions of Huntsville, Nesbit and Fanny townships in Polk County.
  • Wikstrom Telephone Co. Inc. – Wiktel NW MN Broadband 2020 – GRANT $490,997 The last mile project will serve 153 unserved locations in sparsely populated areas in Kittson, Marshall and Polk counties.


  • Find more articles on broadband in Polk County (http://tinyurl.com/zk8apgm)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 16 (up 4)
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 7.3

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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