Waseca County ranks 42 (out of 86) for broadband access of 100/20: code red

Waseca County is not poised to meet the broadband goals for either 2022 or 2026.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 75.20 75.06 98.75
25/3 (2022 goal) 82.19 75.30 98.75

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

It’s difficult to track the progress in Waseca because the numbers from 2017 include wireless access and the subsequent numbers include wireline only. Regardless, Waseca has not seen improvement in the last two years and with no broadband grants in the works, it seems unlikely that they will see an increase soon.

To meet the speed goals Waseca would need to develop a relationship with a provider and build a momentum.

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 42 (down from 25)
  • 25/3 ranking: 52
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: no
  • Household density: 16.8
  • Number of providers: 11

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)

Wadena County ranks 16 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code yellow

Wadena County is in good shape for meeting the state speed goals for both 2022 and 2026. Their numbers are pretty good, they made great strides in the last year, but they will need to build on that momentum to meet the goals.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 91.07 49.91 45.69
25/3 (2022 goal) 93.01 92.37 88.23

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Wadena has benefited from a state broadband grant:

  • 2015 – West Central Telephone Association Hwy 71 Wadena NORTH Expansion Project
    Grant Award: $193,515
    Serving 162 households, 43 businesses, and 3 community anchor institutions in the Wadena area and Highway 71 corridor north of Wadena.

Wadena, as part of the Resilient Region, was part of the Blandin Broadband Communities (BBC). That has brought broadband activities to the area and spurred conversation.

In September 2019, Senator Klobuchar’s staff held a listening session in Wadena County. While Wadena is largely served, we heard from the folks who aren’t. They can’t get online; they can’t even get cell services. It was a reminder that even in counties that are well served, most have some families that are not.

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

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 16 (up from 53)
  • 25/3 ranking: 24
  • Has worked with Blandin
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant
  • Household density: 10.5
  • 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)

Wabasha County ranks 60 (out of 87) for broadband access of 100/20: code red

Wabasha County is not poised to meet the state broadband goals for either 2022 or 2026. They benefited from a grant in 2016 but not much has appeared on the radar since then.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 66.31 66.17 61.7
25/3 (2022 goal) 77.61 74.35 83.59

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Wabasha has benefited from a state broadband grant:

  • 2016 – NEW ULM TELECOM, INC. MAZEPPA – GRANT: $ 317,761
    Serving 87 unserved households, 11 unserved businesses and 66 underserved households in Mazeppa Township in Wabasha County with service levels to Gigabit.

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 60 (down from 39)
  • 25/3 ranking: 63
  • Has worked with Blandin
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant
  • Household density: 16
  • Number of providers: 9

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)

Traverse County ranks 71 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code red

Traverse County is not poised to meet the MN broadband speed goals for either 2022 or 2026.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 49.39 45.62 45.37
25/3 (2022 goal) 67.25 66.14 45.37

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

In 2017, Mediacom has announced upgrades to Gig service in parts of Traverse County, specifically Wheaton. Traverse is also getting almost $2 million in FCC funding but that is over the next 10 years.

At a regional meeting hosted by Blandin Foundation in 2018, Traverse County gave an update on their broadband situation…

What was the story in Traverse County?
They found an interested provider in the area. They cut a deal where the county lent the company money and provided some easier access to towers. Once the provider got a certain number of providers, they had to look at paying back the loan. They’ve been successful. It’s wireless. It’s maybe not 25/3 but it’s better than what people had before.
Wireless isn’t wireless – it’s wireless to a tower that needs fiber.
Fixed wireless isn’t a long terms acceptable solution for Minnesota. They are akin to party lines. MY connectivity cannot depend on my neighbor’s trees (or on whether they build a new barn).
But fixed wireless is working in places like Renville Sibley County – where people can get fixed wireless and are happy to have it until FTTH becomes available.

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 71
  • 25/3 ranking: 78
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant
  • Household density: 2.6
  • Number of providers: 7

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)

Todd County ranks 79 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code red

Todd County is not poised to meet the MN state speed goals for either 2022 or 2026.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 38.68 17.58 2.86
25/3 (2022 goal) 71.91 67.96 46.01

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Todd County has benefited from a MN broadband grant:

  • 2017 – WCTA (West Central Telephone Association) – Northern Todd County – GRANT $902,695
    Serving 209 unserved households and 6 unserved businesses within portions of Staples Township and Villard Township in Todd County with service levels to 1 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up.
  • 2014 – Arvig (Mainstreet Communications LLC), Sauk Lake area
    Award: $536,702. Total project cost: $1.07 million. Impact: Service to 217 unserved premises.

Todd County was part of Region 5 (the Resilient Region) focusing on broadband improvements and was a Blandin Broadband Community.

Working with the Blandin Foundation, Todd County has been focused on better broadband for a long time. They may get some help in the near future. In May 2019, CTC announced plans to build out to Todd County. That would help a lot and might build momentum.

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

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 79 (up from 81)
  • 25/3 ranking: 72
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 10
  • Number of providers: 9

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)

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)