Yellow Medicine ranks 78 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code red

Yellow Medicine is not poised to meet the broadband speed goals for either 2022 or 2026 but they created a project for a grant application in the last round. It wasn’t funded, but that sets the stage for engagement later.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 38.86 37.72 19.28
25/3 (2022 goal) 68.31 46.91 20.42

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Yellow Medicine County has benefited from broadband grants:

  • 2016 – MIDCO CANBY TO MARSHALL MIDDLE MILE AND LAST MILE – GRANT AMOUNT: $623,000
    Serving 1029 unserved households, 29 unserved businesses, and 11 unserved community institutions in and around the towns of Porter, Taunton, Minneota, Ghent, and Canby, between Canby and Marshall in Yellow Medicine and Lyon with service levels in the project area to 200 Mbps down by 20 Mbps up..
  • 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.

Yellow Medicine is getting almost $2 million in FCC funding but that is over the next 10 years.

In 2018, Yellow Medicine released a Blandin Foundation-supported feasibility study

It does not look to be economically feasible to immediately build fiber everywhere without significant grant funding. … The scenarios that mix fiber and wireless technology look feasible. The scenarios can work even without grant funding, but some level of grant funding make the scenarios safer for an investor.

There was game changing possibility:

We note that as this report was being written that the county announced a tentative agreement with Farmers Mutual Cooperative to bring fiber to a significant portion of the county. The county has agreed to provide $4 million in funding subject to the Cooperative being able to find grants and other funding needed to build the project. If completed this project would cover a little less than half of the parts of the county that don’t have broadband today.

In December 2019, the Yellow Medicine County Board talked about the need to step “up effort to expand broadband Internet service to rural counties.”

They did not get that funding but having a feasibility study in place and a relationship with providers that will help them get to the speed goals, despite current numbers.

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

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 78 (down from 69)
  • 25/3 ranking: 77
  • Has worked with Blandin
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant
  • Household density: 5.6
  • 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)

Wright County ranks 33 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code red

Wright County is not poised to meet the MN broadband goals for either 2022 or 2026. They need to renew interest in broadband to meet those goals.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 81.02 80.61 29.26
25/3 (2022 goal) 91.07 87.89 81.17

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Wright County has benefited from a broadband grant:

  • 2017 – Midco (Midcontinent Communications) – Annandale East – GRANT $537,050
    Serving 40 unserved households, and 531 underserved households and 7 underserved businesses, in the area northeast of Annandale near Bass Lake and Clearwater Lake in Wright County with service levels to up to 1 Gbps.

Wright County is home to Monticello, one of the famous   municipal broadband networks. Monticello built their own fiber network – but in process the incumbent also built a fiber network and even sued the city. It looks like Monticello is continuing to bring in competition and looking at the numbers the providers are reaching outside the city limits.

To reach the MN broadband speed goals, Wright County will need to build a momentum, work with providers to expand and upgrade service.

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

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 33 (down from 21)
  • 25/3 ranking: 33
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 62.2
  • Number of providers: 13

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)

Winona County ranks 24 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code red

Winona County is not poised to meet the broadband speed goals for either 2022 or 2026 unless they build a momentum comparable to the momentum they had 20 years ago.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Winona 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 86.43 86.31 81.17
25/3 (2022 goal) 86.56 86.48 92.13

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Winona has benefited from several broadband grants:

  • 2016 – WINONA COUNTY PICKWICK AREA – GRANT: $416,640
    Serving 88 unserved households, 89 unserved businesses, 2 unserved community anchor institutions, and 23 underserved households and 23 underserved businesses within Wilson, Homer, Richmond, Pleasant Hill, and Wiscoy Townships in Winona County with service levels to 1 Gigabit speed.
  • 2015 – Hiawatha Broadband Communications – Winona County Whitewater Area
    Grant Award: $247,000
    Serving 418 passings including 135 households, 70 businesses and 5 community anchor institutions in in Elba and Norton Townships including Whitewater State Park.
  • 2015 – Winona County Hiawatha Broadband Communications – Cedar Valley Area
    Grant award: $314,450
    Serving 256 households, 117 businesses and 3 community anchor institutions in area lies south and west of Winona from Hwy 61 along the Mississippi River to I-90.

Winona County was part of the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities (MIRC) starting in 2010, a Blandin-led and federal (ARRA) funded digital inclusion project. So there has been a focus on broadband for a decade. In fact, Winona is the home of Luminet, a early broadband provider that eventually because Hiawatha Broadband and then Schurz Communications.

Unfortunately, Winona has not kept pace. They need to build a momentum to get them on track to meet the speed goals.

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 24 (down from 15)
  • 25/3 ranking: 41
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 30.4
  • Number of providers: 14

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)

Wilkin County ranks 34 (out of 87) for broadband access speeds of 100/20: code red

Wilkin County is not poised to meet the speed goals for either 2022 or 2026. Their numbers looked OK a few years ago, but they have not improved; they need to build a momentum.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Wilkin 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 80.84 82.08 80.84
25/3 (2022 goal) 88.01 86.53 80.84

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Wilkin has benefited from a state broadband grant:

  • 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 Rural Grant, Stevens and Wilkin Counties with service levels to 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload.

Wilkin County needs to jumpstart a focus on broadband; it seems like that might happen. Sen. Torrey Westrom and Rep. Jeff Backer  held a town hall meeting in February 2019 to talk about broadband. In summer of 2019, the Wilkin County Commissioner Dennis Larson advocated for legislative funding for broadband.

Now they need to extend that enthusiasm into action working with providers to extend better broadband throughout the county.

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 34 (down from 20)
  • 25/3 ranking: 38
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 3.6
  • Number of providers: 8

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)

Watonwan County ranks 58 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code red

Watonwan County is not primed to meet MN broadband speed goals for 2022 or 2026.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Watonwan 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 67.75 68.42 64.58
25/3 (2022 goal) 79.21 70.70 65.26

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Watonwan County has benefited from several state grants:

  • 2017 – New Ulm Telecom, Inc. – Hanska A&D FTTP – GRANT $324,894
    Serving 9 unserved households and 38 unserved businesses in the Hanska area south of New Ulm near the border of Brown and Watonwan Counties with service levels to 1 Gbps.
  • 2016 – NEW ULM TELECOM, INC. HANSKA – GRANT: $ 200,397
    Serving 14 unserved households and 32 unserved businesses in Lake Hanska Township in Brown County and Riverdale Township in Watonwan County.
  • 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.

Watonwan needs help to reach the speed goals. In November 2018, SDN announced two broadband partners to its Minnesota network, which will improve business broadband reach into two counties of that state – Nobles and Watonwan. That should help it.

In September 2019, Senator Smith visited Watonwan County to learn about the state of rural broadband.

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 58 (down from 34)
  • 25/3 ranking: 60
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 10.3
  • Number of providers: 8

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)

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)

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)