Washington County ranks 12 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code green

Washington County is poised to meet the state speed goals for 2022 and 2026; but they will need to make a concerted effort to get there.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Washington 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 95.80 96.10 94.97
25/3 (2022 goal) 98.44 97.21 96.52

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Washington County has some metro areas and some rural areas. Unlike some of the more rural counties there is a business case for providers to come into the Washington County market. They are also fortunate in that they have been part of multi-county government networks led by Dakota County that provides a middle mile base from which other providers can build.

Washington County could benefit from future grants. In 2019, Midco applied to upgrade service in Washington. (That doesn’t mean they will get the grant; they have only applied.)

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 12 (down from 9)
  • 25/3 ranking: 13
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: no
  • Household density: 207.8
  • Number of providers: 12

Details:

  • Find more articles on broadband in Washington County (http://tinyurl.com/z4dwzyy)
  • Districts: CD 2, 4, 6
    Senate: 38, 39, 43, 53, 54
    House: 38A, 38B, 39A, 39B, 43A, 43B, 53A, 53B, 54A, 54B
  • Find your reps

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)

Swift County ranks 3 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code green

Swift County has gone from 30 percent access to 100/20 in 2017 to 99 percent in 2019. They are poised to meet the speed goals for both 2022 and 2026.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 99.60 64.15 30.41
25/3 (2022 goal) 99.64 99.64 78.95

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Swift County has benefited from two broadband grants:

  • 2015 – Federated Telephone Cooperative – Swift County FTTP 2015
    Grant award: $4,950,000
    Serving 600 households, 425 businesses, and 75 community institutions in Swift County with Gig access.
  • 2015 – MVTV Wireless Middle Mile
    Grant award: $808,080
    This project is a Middle Mile broadband infrastructure buildout to upgrade backhaul capacity between site locations within 20 southwestern Minnesota counties: Blue Earth, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Meeker, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pipestone, Rock, Redwood, Renville, Sibley Swift, Watonwan, and Yellow Medicine.

Swift County’s partnership with Federated Telephone has provided nearly ubiquitous coverage. Along with access, Swift County has been working on creating a culture of use by participating in the current  Blandin Broadband Community (BBC) cohort

Swift County could benefit from future grants. In 2019, MidState Telephone applied to upgrade service in Swift. (That doesn’t mean they will get the grant; they have only applied.)

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 3 (up from 41)
  • 25/3 ranking: 5
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 5.6
  • Number of providers: 10

Details:

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)

Stevens County ranks 10 (out of 87) for broadband speeds at 100/20: code green

Stevens County is poised to meet the MN broadband speed goals for both 2022 and 2026. But they will need to make a final push for ubiquitous coverage.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 96.74 96.74 96.73
25/3 (2022 goal) 99.22 99.22 99.21

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Stevens County has been involved with broadband for a while. They were members of the 2009-2012 Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) program led by Blandin Foundation and federally funded through ARRA. It was an effort to promote use of broadband across rural Minnesota.

Stevens County has benefited from two MN broadband grants:

  • 2017 – Advantenon – Rural Grant, Stevens and Wilkin Counties – Grant $316,554
    Serving 528 unserved households, 132 unserved businesses, and 8 unserved community anchor institutions in eligible in Grant, Stevens and Wilkin Counties with service levels to 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload, exceeding the state speed goal set for the year 2026.
  • 2014 – Otter Tail Telcom, Swan Lake West
    Award: $438,937. Total project cost: $877,874. Impact: Service to 110 unserved locations near Swan Lake, on the outskirts of Fergus Falls.

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 10 (down from 7)
  • 25/3 ranking: 9
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 6.5
  • Number of providers: 10

Details:

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)

Rock County ranks 1 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code green

The top rated county in Minnesota for access to broadband speeds of 100/20, for all practical purposes, Rock County has reached the MN broadband goals for both 2022 and 2026.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Rock 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 99.93 99.93 66.32
25/3 (2022 goal) 99.93 99.93 99.93

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Rock County benefited from two MN broadband grants:

  • 2015 – MVTV Wireless Middle Mile
    Grant award: $808,080
    This project is a Middle Mile broadband infrastructure buildout to upgrade backhaul capacity between site locations within 20 southwestern Minnesota counties: Blue Earth, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Meeker, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pipestone, Rock, Redwood, Renville, Sibley Swift, Watonwan, and Yellow Medicine.
  • 2014 – Rock County Broadband Alliance (RCBA), FTTP Project
    Award: $5 million. Total project cost: $12.85 million. Impact: service to 1,261 homes and farms, 68 businesses, and 21 community institutions in Rock County.

The 2014 project set Rock County in a good direction.  In the summer of 2017, Rock County  shared their community broadband expertise by inviting the Minnesota Broadband Task Force to visit the area and learn more about the program. Rock County is a member of the 2018-2020 Blandin Broadband Community  cohort.  Residents are implementing projects to boost broadband adoption and sophistication of use as an economic development strategy.

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 1 (no change)
  • 25/3 ranking: 2
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 8.1
  • Number of providers: 10

Details:

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)

Ramsey County ranks 2 (out of 87) for broadband speeds 100/20: code green

Ramsey County is likely to meet the MN speed goals for 2022 and 2026.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Ramsey 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 99.84 99.82 99.39
25/3 (2022 goal) 99.86 99.84 99.74

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Ramsey County is a metro-based county where the market makes it feasible for broadband providers to serve broadband profitably. They have applied for state grants in the past. At one point they toyed with a municipally supported network. But the market  can take care of many of the needs.

Verizon recently announced plans for 5G expansion in St Paul. It’s likely that won’t impact their progress to speed goals, but it will offer a new option for the most urban areas.

Verizon recently announced plans for 5G expansion in St Paul. It’s likely that won’t impact their progress to speed goals, but it will offer a new option for the most urban areas of the county.

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 2 (no change)
  • 25/3 ranking: 3
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: no
  • Household density: 1191.3
  • Number of providers: 9

Details:

  • Find more article on https://bit.ly/2kgeboX
  • Districts: CD 4
    Senate: 38, 41, 42, 43, 53, 64, 65, 66, 67
    House: 38A, 41A, 41B, 42A, 42B, 43A, 43B, 53A, 64A, 64B, 65A, 65B, 66A, 66B, 67A, 67B
  • Find your reps

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)

Polk County ranks 19 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code green

Based as much on their recent momentum as on their numbers, Polk County could very well meet the speed goals for 2022 and 2026; their odds are probably higher for 2026.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Polk 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 88.35 85.39 80.89
25/3 (2022 goal) 93.11 93 91.74

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Polk County has benefited from three state broadband grants:

  • 2016 – HALSTAD TELEPHONE COMPANY KERTSONVILLE AREA – GRANT: $296,665
    Serving 51 unserved households in Kertsonville and Onstad Townships in Polk with service levels to 1 Gigabit.
  • 2015 – Halstad Telephone Company – Gentilly Township
    Grant award: $424,460
    Halstad Telephone Company will build out FTTH infrastructure in Gentilly Township in Polk County to provide state speed goal broadband service and above to 114 households, 20 businesses, and 1 community anchor institution in the Village of Gentilly and Gentilly Township (except for the NW corner of the township which is served already). The total project costs are $931,000; the remaining $504,540 (54 percent local match) will be provided by Halstad Telephone Company.
  • 2014 – Halstad Telephone Co., Halstad Tract MN 11902500 FTTH
    Award: $1.65 million. Total project cost: $3.3 million. Impact: Service to 249 unserved locations in Polk County.

In 2018, Polk County also benefited when  Garden Valley Telephone Company received a loan of $20,360,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)  and  when Red River Valley Cooperative Power Association received a $8,000,000 USDA loan to improve infrastructure for a smart grid system.  They also will receive almost $2 million in FCC funding over the next 10 years.

While Polk County has a way to go to meet the 2026 goals, they have a lot of activity working in that direction. It may take even more activity but it’s easier to build on growing momentum.

Polk County could benefit from future grants. In 2019, Halstad Telephone Company and Garden Valley Telephone Company applied to upgrade service in Polk. (That doesn’t mean they will get the grant; they have only applied.)

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 19 (down from 16)
  • 25/3 ranking: 23
  • Has worked with Blandin
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant
  • Household density: 6.4
  • Number of providers: 6

Details:

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)

Pennington ranks 11 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code green

Pennington is poised to meet the MN speed goals for both 2022 and 2026. They made a huge leap into availability before 2018, after receiving several MN grants.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Pennington 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 96.18 90.75 9.63
25/3 (2022 goal) 97.21 91.78 91.78

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Pennington County has benefited from several MN broadband grants:

  • 2017 – Sjoberg’s Inc. – NW MN Rural Broadband – GRANT $307,088
    Serving 98 unserved households, 10 unserved businesses, and 3 community anchor institutions in a large area west of Thief River Falls in Pennington County with service levels to 1 Gbps down and up.
  • 2016 – CENTURYLINK THIEF RIVER MIDDLE MILE – GRANT: $1,324,400
    Serving 491 unserved households and 118 unserved businesses in a 71.4 mile fiber build from Thief River to Roseau with service levels 25 Mbps download by 3 Mbps.
  • 2016 – GARDEN VALLEY TELEPHONE COMPANY RURAL THIEF RIVER FALLS EAST – GRANT: $2,027,035
    Serving 330 unserved households, 23 unserved businesses, and 2 community anchor institutions in rural Thief River Falls with service levels to 1 Gigabit per second up and down.

Pennington County has done well with engaged providers. They need to continue to work with providers to reach the last almost four percent of households in the county.

Pennington County could benefit from future grants. In 2019, Wikstrom and Garden Valley applied to upgrade service in Pennington. (That doesn’t mean they will get the grant; they have only applied.)

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 11 (up from 12)
  • 25/3 ranking: 16
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 9.4
  • Number of providers: 6

Details:

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)