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)

Scott County ranks 18 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code yellow

Scott County is in a position where they could make the MN broadband goals for 2022 and 2026 with concerted effort.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 89.15 88.61 88.38
25/3 (2022 goal) 96.43 94.50 93.77

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Scott County started in 2007 with a 94-mile fiber-optic ring, At the time it was the largest government-owned high-speed network in the state, and one of the largest in the nation. In 2014, county officials  detailed the advantages of the network…

We (Scott County) saw disparity between cost and access. A T1 in SE Scott was about $5500/years; in NE Scott it was $900/year. This project means we now buy it for about $30/year. Scott County Government now pays $35,000/year less for better broadband now.

Scott County has benefited from one MN broadband grant:

  • 2017 – Jaguar Communications – Sand Creek Township Area Broadband Project – GRANT $192,405
    Serving 118 unserved households, 18 unserved businesses, and 3 community anchor institutions in the Sand Creek Township area of Scott County by constructing fiber to the premises.

Scott is a fairly metro county; the market will probably take care of much of the county, but parts of it will take an effort.

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

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 18 (down from 14)
  • 25/3 ranking: 17
  • Has worked with Blandin
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant
  • Household density: 122.4
  • 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)

Rice County ranks 28 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code yellow

Rice County could reach the state broadband goals for 2022 and 2026 with a concerted effort. The momentum and growth in the last year is part of optimism of reaching the goals.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 82.47 32.63 48.85
25/3 (2022 goal) 92.36 93.20 87.37

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

The anomaly in mapping is due to broadband provider Nuvera delving deeper into the DLS stats. So they really did experience an overwhelming upgrade throughout most of the county with broadband.

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

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 28 (up from 74)
  • 25/3 ranking: 27
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: no
  • Household density: 43.2
  • Number of providers: 12

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)

Red Lake County ranks 26 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code yellow

For all practical purposes, Red Lake County has reached the state’s broadband speed goals for 2022. But they need to work toward the 2026 goal. They have not had to think about broadband for many years, but their current speed of broadband is not futureproof.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 83.17 83.17 48.01
25/3 (2022 goal) 99.99 99.99 99.99

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 26 (down from 18)
  • 25/3 ranking: 1
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: no
  • Household density: 4
  • Number of providers: 4

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)

Pipestone County ranks 35 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code yellow

Pipestone County could meet the broadband speed goals for both 2022 and 2026 with a concerted effort. The numbers aren’t too far from reality; the impact of Vast Broadband may make a big difference. If that impact isn’t great, they will need to work on building partnerships with other providers.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Pipestone 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 79.73 79.73 44.54
25/3 (2022 goal) 81.10 79.73 79.73

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Pipestone County has benefited from two grants:

  • 2017 – Woodstock Telephone Company – Pipestone County Wireless – GRANT $363,851
    Serving 135 unserved households, 540 unserved businesses, and 1 unserved community anchor institution in rural Pipestone with service levels to a minimum of 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload with higher speeds of 75Mbps/25Mbps.
  • 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.

In April (2019), Vast Broadband launched Gigabit access in Marshall, Pipestone and Worthington Counties. In September 2019, Woodstock Telephone’s grant-funded network was completed. It will be interesting to see the impact these projects will have on county’s pursuit of Minnesota’s 2026 speed goals.

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 35 (down from 22)
  • 25/3 ranking: 54
  • Has worked with Blandin: no
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 8.7
  • 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)

Nobles County ranks 40 (out of 87) for broadband speeds of 100/20: code yellow

Nobles County is in a precarious position; they could reach broadband speed goals for 2022 and 2026 but it will take a concerted effort. Lismore Telephone is a cooperative in the area that has been active in the community. It looks like their state-funded project in 2016 only targeted speeds of 25/3, though they do offer faster services. If Nobles County can get them (or another provider) to extend services, that will increase their chances of meeting the state speed goals.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
Nobles 2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 77.66 77.18 59.25
25/3 (2022 goal) 80.89 79.24 76.19

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Nobles County has benefited from two MN broadband grants:

  • 2016 LISMORE COOPERATIVE TELEPHONE NOBLES COUNTY BROADBAND – GRANT: $2,944,578
    Serving 469 unserved households, 1060 unserved businesses, and 6 unserved community anchor institutions across Nobles County with services to 25 Mbps download by 3 Mbps upload via a fixed wireless solution for nearly 1,000 passings, and fiber to obtain gigabit levels for close to 500 passings.
  • 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.

As a member of Blandin Foundation’s 2015-2016 Blandin Broadband Community cohort, Nobles County implemented nearly a dozen broadband adoption projects focused on digital inclusion, increasing public access to broadband, and improving the digital literacy skills of the county’s business community. So, they are as community focused on broadband. Late in 2018, SDN Communications partnered with local providers to expand service into Nobles County.

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

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 40 (down from 24)
  • 25/3 ranking: 56
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 11
  • 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)

Nicollet County ranks 37 (out of 87) with broadband at 100/20: code yellow

Nicollet County could be poised to meet the broadband speed goals for 2022 and 2026. Although it will take a concerted effort.

Percentage of Served Population by Speed and Date
2019 2018 2017
100/20 (2026 goal) 78.42 33.29 54.54
25/3 (2022 goal) 82.68 83.91 83.42

Green=served Purple=underesrved Red=unserved

Nicollet County has benefited from a state broadband grant:

  • 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.

It’s difficult to get a clear picture of Nicollet’s progress toward the speed goals given the dip in 2018 – caused by provider Nuevera going more granular with its DSL data – but it looks like Nicollet is experiencing  momentum toward reaching the state’s speed goals.

Mediacom announced upgrades in 2017. Consolidated Communications announced improvements in 2018. County Commissioners have recognized the need for better broadband. In 2019, RS Fiber  completed construction of a gigabit fiber to the home  networks in ten communities located in Renville, Sibley, McLeod, and Nicollet Counties of west central Minnesota.

Checklist:

  • 100/20 ranking: 37
  • 25/3 ranking: 51
  • Has worked with Blandin: yes
  • Has received a MN Broadband grant: yes
  • Household density: 26.1
  • Number of providers: 12

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)