Waseca County Broadband Profile 2022: Red rating: Ranking 23 out of 87

Rank: 23
Code: Red
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Waseca County: stalled at 75 percent broadband access

Waseca County ranks 55 for broadband access and 23 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They have been hovering around 75 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up since 2018 They have 1964 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $18.3 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
Waseca 18.2 7,895 75.12 1964  $       18,267,766.80

Waseca County has been stalled at 75 percent access for several years. One setback, LTD Broadband was awarded the opportunity to submit a long form to get federal funding (RDOF) to deploy FTTH throughout much of Minnesota, including parts of Waseca County. LTD’s application for RDOF has since been rejected. And the Minnesota PUC (Public Utilities Commission) are looking at revoking the ETC designation that LTD needed to qualify for RDOF money. But until the application was denied, Steele County was left in a position where is was hard to make plans around LTD.

Waseca County retains their code red status in part because there hasn’t been a demonstration of recent engagement in making improvements from the community or incumbent providers.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 75.12 75.02 75.34 75.2 75.06 98.75
25/3 (2022 goal) 78.19 78.65 83.92 82.19 75.3 98.75

Digital Equity:

Waseca County ranks 23 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Waseca County ranks 76 out of 87 for computer ownership. 87.8 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grant:

  • MN State Grants awarded in 2021: BEVCOMM (Cannon Valley Telecom, Inc.) – Rural Morristown Fiber Expansion Project – GRANT $210,692 This last mile project will serve approximately 14 unserved and 94 underserved locations in portions of Rice, Waseca, and Steele counties.

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Waseca County (http://tinyurl.com/z845jwy)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 55 (down 3)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 18.2

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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