Washington County Broadband Profile 2022: Yellow rating: Ranking out 15 of 87

Rank: 15
Code: Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Washington County: nearly there with a grant in process

Washington County ranks 18 for broadband access and 4 for digital equity out of 87 counties. They have hovered from 93-96 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up since we have been tracking. 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 6667 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $62 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
Washington 245.6 104,014 93.59 6667  $       62,005,865.82

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

  • Midcontinent Communications, $975,131.00

The City of Scandia and MidCo has been working on program to add an average of 200 homes per year for the next five years (2020-2024); the county has awarded money in 2022 to expedite the roll out.

Washington County has some suburban areas and some rural areas. So, some areas attract providers while other areas need incentive. They have been stalled for many years now and there seems to be little engagement outside of Scandia and that is how their code has been escalated from green to yellow.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 93.59 96.02 95.8 95.8 96.1 94.97
25/3 (2022 goal) 95.7 97.88 98.45 98.44 97.21 96.52

Digital Equity:

Washington County ranks 4 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Washington County ranks 3 out of 87 for computer ownership. 97.9 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 95.5 percent.

Past grants

  • 2019: Midco (Midcontinent Communications) – Scandia Project – GRANT $510,358
  • MN State Grant awarded in 2021: Midco (Midcontinent Communications) – Scandia – GRANT $78,824 This last mile project will serve 78 underserved households and one underserved business in remote neighborhoods of Scandia in Washington County.

Checklist:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Washington County (http://tinyurl.com/z4dwzyy)
  • 100/20 Mbps ranking: 18 (down 3)
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 245.6

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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