St Louis County Broadband Profile 2022: Yellow rating: Ranking out 57 of 87

Rank: 57
Code: Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

St Louis County: Gearing up for a big push?

St Louis County ranks 57 for broadband access and 47 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They have hovered from 75-79 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up since 2019. 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 26034 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $242 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
St. Louis 15.1 103,681 74.89 26034  $    242,118,981.63

St Louis County will benefit from three border to border grants announced in December 2022:

  • Mediacom Minnesota LLC, $7,363,624.53
  • Savage Communications Inc., $562,098.00
  • Consolidated Telephone Company, $4,857,030.00 (serving St Louis and Cass)

St Louis benefitted from completion of a Paul Bunyan border to border project in November, which might not have been included in the most recent map updated. They will also benefit from a public-private partnership with Mediacom Communications that will result in the construction of a 60-mile fiber-optic network offering ultra-high-speed fiber broadband services to homes and businesses throughout Lakewood Township. And they will benefit from investment in better broadband in Rice Lake with Consolidated Telephone.

St Louis County has been hovering for a while. They saw the one of greatest drops in broadband ranking – down 13 spots but it seems like they are starting to get traction again and that’s why they retain their yellow code.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 74.89 79.49 79.22 78.2 41.2 38.78
25/3 (2022 goal) 79.7 85.5 86.72 86.23 83.47 82.72

Digital Equity:

St Louis County ranks 47 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

St Louis County ranks 15 out of 87 for computer ownership. 94.4 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grants:

  • 2017 – CenturyLink – Fredenberg Township FTTH Project – GRANT $1,809,312
    2017 – Paul Bunyan Communications – North Central Fiber – GRANT $802,620
  • 2017 – MEDIACOM FAYAL TOWNSHIP – GRANT: $263,345
  • 2014 – Mediacom, Pintar Road – Award: $137,848. Total project cost: $275,697.
  • 2014 – Northeast Service Cooperative – Frontier Communications Corp., Border to Border Phase I – Award: $1.96 million.
  • 2019: Paul Bunyan Communications – North Central Minnesota Fiber Project– GRANT $2,562,916
  • MN State Grants awarded in 2021: Charter Communications (Spectrum) – Getchell Road – GRANT $11,400 This middle and last mile project will provide broadband service to eight unserved households in northern Duluth in St. Louis County.
  • Mediacom Minnesota LLC – Field of Dreams Hermantown Project – GRANT $624,751 This last mile project will serve approximately 267 underserved households, six underserved businesses, and one underserved community anchor institution in Hermantown in St. Louis County.
  • Paul Bunyan Communications – City of Cook GigaZone Fiber – GRANT $311,254 This last mile project will improve high-speed broadband for 57 unserved and 254 underserved locations in the community of Cook in St. Louis County.

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in St Louis County (http://tinyurl.com/jnm9jah)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 57 (down 13)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 15.1

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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