Wright County Broadband Profile 2022: Yellow rating: Ranking out 49 of 87

Rank: 49
Code: Yellow
(See Blandin Foundation interactive map)

Wright County: still stalled at 80 percent coverage

Wright County ranks 49 for broadband access and 10 for digital equity out of 87 counties. Their broadband coverage has hovered from 78-86 percent coverage to broadband of 100 Mbps down and 20 up since 2018. There reporting is so inconsistent that it makes me wonder how the local providers are mapping access. They have 5527 households without access to broadband at that speed. Estimates indicate that it will cost $51.4 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
Wright 76.2 54,467 78.02 11972  $    111,338,173.38

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

  • Spectrum Mid-America, LLC managed by Charter Communications Inc., $2,832,155.00 (Learn more)

A recent report from the Institute for Local Self Reliance looked at broadband in Monticello and Buffalo in Wright County. Monticello was an early municipal network that overcame many challenges but still provides services while Buffalo has been slowly expanding municipally owned fiber.

Wright County is a code yellow community in part because their percentage of access has been stalled and the reporting is inconsistent. They saw the greatest drop in broadband ranking – down 18 spots. The hope is that the latest award to spur greater engagement.

Broadband Access:

  2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 78.02 86.15 82.51 81.02 80.61 29.26
25/3 (2022 goal) 83.58 92.71 89.69 91.07 87.89 81.17

Digital Equity:

Wright County ranks 10 out of 87 for digital equity. (See full Digital Equity Profile)

Wright County ranks 4 out of 87 for computer ownership. 91.5 percent of homes have a computer of device as compared to statewide ownership of 97.4 percent.

Past grant:

  • 2017 – Midco (Midcontinent Communications) – Annandale East – GRANT $537,050
  • Meeker Coop. Light & Power Assoc. (Vibrant Broadband) – Lake Louisa/Lake Marie Project – GRANT $297,940

Checklist:

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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