Stearns County Broadband Profile 2022: Green rating: Ranking out 36 of 87

Rank: 36
Code: Green
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Stearns bump up from yellow to green

Stearns County ranks 33 for broadband access and 31 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They have hovered from 81-84 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up since 2019. They have 10056 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $93.5 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
Stearns 47.3 65,684 84.69 10056  $       93,522,849.72

Stearns County will benefit from two border to border grants announced in December 2022:

  • Albany Mutual Telephone, $746,964.00
  • Melrose Telephone Co. dba Arvig, $4,974,570.00 (Learn more)

Stearns County will benefit from ReConnect funding through Upsala Cooperative Telephone Association in Morrison, Stearns and Todd counties.

The influx of funding to the county helped push Stearns from yellow to green code.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 84.69 84.71 82.41 81.07 40.17 38.01
25/3 (2022 goal) 89.12 93.26 88.04 91.72 88.96 87.58

Digital Equity:

Stearns County ranks 31 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Stearns County ranks 13 out of 87 for computer ownership. 95.1 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grants:

  • 2017 – Albany Mutual Telephone Association – Two Rivers Area – GRANT $616,743
  • Arvig (Melrose Telephone Company) – Eden Valley & Melrose Area Project – GRANT $393,890
  • MN State Grant awarded in 2021: Sytek Communications – Morrison/Todd/Stearns County FTTP Project – GRANT $1,048,668 This last mile project will bring service to 130 locations in Southwest Morrison, Southeastern Todd and Northeastern Stearns counties.


  • Find more articles on broadband in Stearns County (
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 33 (up 3)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 47.3

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 (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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