Pope County Broadband Profile 2022: Green rating: Ranking out 46 of 87

Rank: 46
Code:  Green
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Pope County: latest grant project will make a difference

Pope County ranks 46 for broadband access and 46 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They have had incremental improvement to broadband now landing at 79.15 53 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up. They have 1328 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $12.3 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
Pope 8.9 6,367 79.15 1328  $       12,345,931.35

Pope County will benefit from a border to border grant announced in December 2022:

  • Hanson Communications, Inc., $4,248,796.00

In 2017, Pope County unveiled a feasibility study that found that installing fiber everywhere in the county would cost about $29.3 million.  Since that time their coverage has gone from 24 percent to almost 80 percent and the estimate to complete the coverage is estimated to be $12.5 million, which seems likely to be in line with their 2017 estimate.

The full budget for their recently awarded grant is $10.6 million, that will get them a lot closer to full coverage and is the reason they have moved from red to green code.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 79.15 74.48 73 68.92 23.67 24.33
25/3 (2022 goal) 87.81 82.95 80.81 76.99 61.27 62.73

Digital Equity:

Pope County ranks 46 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Pope County ranks 55 out of 87 for computer ownership. 89.9 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grant:

  • 2017 – Hanson Communications – Minnewaska Area FTTP – GRANT $4,996,791


  • Find more articles on broadband in Pope County (http://tinyurl.com/hx7q9fd)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 46 (up 8)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 8.9

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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