Lake of the Woods County Broadband: Half have some coverage; but no one ready for 2026 goals

redwoodHalf of Lake of the Woods County has access to broadband at speeds of 25/3 (Mbps down/up) . No one has access at the 2026 speed goals of 100/20. In 2014, they had 47 percent coverage.

The good news is that Lake of the Woods will benefit from two recent Border to Border projects:

Sjoberg’s will receive $354,740 to serve 126 unserved households, 30 unserved businesses and one community anchor institution in several areas of Roseau and Lake of the Woods counties.

Wikstrom Telephone will receive $950,823 to serve 236 unserved households and 26 unserved businesses in sparsely populated areas of Kittson, Marshall, Roseau and Lake of the Woods counties.

Lake of the Woods County is also in line to receive $424,315 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 950 locations. CAF 2 recipients are only required to upgrade to 10/1 access. Many may choose to upgrade to better speeds but there are no requirements.

Lake of the Woods was a Blandin Broadband Community. They worked on projects to boost broadband use by businesses and residents.

Numbers:

The Office of Broadband Development released data on broadband covered in fall of 2016, based on information gathered in July 2016. Here’s how they ranked:

  • Percentage served with 25/3 or better: 61
  • Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 0

ranking-kanabec-to-morrison

Mississippi State University Extension have come up with a ranking system to gauge the digital divide index (DDI) by county. (The lower the number the better – the state average is 40.66.) Here’s how they ranked:

DDI score of 50.61 out of 100.

More info:

  • Districts: CD 7
    Senate: 02
    House: 02A

I plan to profile each county in Minnesota – tracking broadband access, digital divide and annotated links to news of what’s happening with broadband in the county. I’m keeping it high level because there are 87 counties!

Lake County broadband: 94 percent served with support from ARRA funds

lakeLake County is well served at 94 percent access to 25/3 (Mbps down/up) and 100/20 broadband speeds due in large part to an ARRA grant for a project that gave birth to Lake Communications, a homegrown FTTH provider. In November 2016, Lake Communications began working with Consolidated Telecommunications Co. (CTC) to prime them to take over operations and management of the county’s broadband project, Lake Connections.

Lake County is also in line to receive $792 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 3 locations. CAF 2 recipients are only required to upgrade to 10/1 access. Many may choose to upgrade to better speeds but there are no requirements.

Lake County was a Blandin Broadband Community with projects such as their (High School) Seniors teaching Seniors program that was the start of many fine friendships.

Numbers:

The Office of Broadband Development released data on broadband covered in fall of 2016, based on information gathered in July 2016. Here’s how Lake County ranked:

  • Percentage served with 25/3 or better: 94.32
  • Percentage served with 100/20 or better:  94.32

ranking-kanabec-to-morrison

Mississippi State University Extension have come up with a ranking system to gauge the digital divide index (DDI) by county. (The lower the number the better – the state average is 40.66.) Here’s how they ranked:

DDI score of 50.35 out of 100.

More info:

  • Districts: CD 8
    Senate: 03
    House: 03A

I plan to profile each county in Minnesota – tracking broadband access, digital divide and annotated links to news of what’s happening with broadband in the county. I’m keeping it high level because there are 87 counties!

Lac qui Parle County: 99 percent coverage but county seat is underserved

lqpLac qui Parle (LqP) County is well served due in large part to an ARRA grant and partnership between the County and Federated Telephone.

LqP County is unlike most counties in that the county seat (Madison) is not as well served as the rest of the county. To be eligible for the ARRA funding, planners had to remove Madison from the plan because at the time connectivity in the town was fast enough to be considered served. They are an example of the leapfrogging that can happen when portions of a county (or region) are not upgraded because they are considered served or underserved while other parts are upgraded to a higher standard. Madison is investigating and campaigning to get better broadband to compete with their neighbors.

LqP County is in line to receive $14,003 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 25 locations. CAF 2 recipients are only required to upgrade to 10/1 access. Many may choose to upgrade to better speeds but there are no requirements.

LqP has been a Blandin Broadband Community through partnership with Lac qui Parle Valley school district. They have also worked with Blandin to help with planning, a feasibility study and boost adoption with programs such as the Computer Commuter, a refurbished van turned into a traveling computer lab that travels throughout the county weekly.

Numbers:

The Office of Broadband Development released data on broadband covered in fall of 2016, based on information gathered in July 2016. Here’s how LqP County ranked:

  • Percentage served with 25/3 or better: 99.36
  • Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 99.36

ranking-kanabec-to-morrisonMississippi State University Extension have come up with a ranking system to gauge the digital divide index (DDI) by county. (The lower the number the better – the state average is 40.66.) Here’s how they ranked:

DDI score of 39.08 out of 100.

More info:

  • There is a matrix of Minnesota broadband adoption projects; it includes projects from this area.
  • Districts: CD 7
    Senate: 16
    House: 16A

I plan to profile each county in Minnesota – tracking broadband access, digital divide and annotated links to news of what’s happening with broadband in the county. I’m keeping it high level because there are 87 counties!

Koochiching County: 68 percent served at 2026 goals

koochichingKoochiching County’s coverage is 68 percent at speeds of 25/3 and 100/20 (Mbps down/up) . The access they have is good, they just need more of it. In 2014, coverage was 74 percent but broadband was defined at a slower speed.

In 2015, Mediacom received $$27,448 to build out broadband middle-mile infrastructure between Little Fork and International Falls. The project was designed to bring high-speed service to 258 Internet users. Koochiching is served in part by Paul Bunyan. So upgrades in their GigaZone service will help but only in areas they serve.

Koochiching County is also in line to receive $950,823  in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 1,829  locations. CAF 2 recipients are only required to upgrade to 10/1 access. Many may choose to upgrade to better speeds but there are no requirements.

Numbers:

The Office of Broadband Development released data on broadband covered in fall of 2016, based on information gathered in July 2016. Here’s how they ranked:

  • Percentage served with 25/3 or better: 68.60
  • Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 68.55

ranking-kanabec-to-morrison

Mississippi State University Extension have come up with a ranking system to gauge the digital divide index (DDI) by county. (The lower the number the better – the state average is 40.66.) Here’s how they ranked:

DDI score of 51.79 out of 100.

More info:

  • There is a matrix of Minnesota broadband adoption projects; it includes projects from this area.
  • Districts: CD 8
    Senate: 03
    House: 03A

I plan to profile each county in Minnesota – tracking broadband access, digital divide and annotated links to news of what’s happening with broadband in the county. I’m keeping it high level because there are 87 counties!

Kittson County unserved and underseved but State grants should help

kittsonKittson County is almost entirely underserved and largely unserved; only 65 percent have access to speeds of 25/3 (Mbps down/up) and only 3 percent have access to 100/20, which is the speed goal for 2026. Kittson saw some improvements through an ARRA funded project (through Wikstrom Telephone) and again through Wikstrom when they were recipients of an early Border to Border grant – but that grant was only going to upgrade 15 premises. It doesn’t sound like a lot of homes but the population in Kittson is only 1,986.

The good news is that Kittson will see upgrades with the latest round of Border to Border grants. Wikstrom Telephone will receive $950,823  to serve 236 unserved households and 26 unserved businesses in sparsely populated areas of Kittson, Marshall, Roseau and Lake of the Woods counties.

Kittson County is also in line to receive $$126,244 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 201 locations. CAF 2 recipients are only required to upgrade to 10/1 access. Many may choose to upgrade to better speeds but there are no requirements.

Numbers:

The Office of Broadband Development released data on broadband covered in fall of 2016, based on information gathered in July 2016. Here’s how they ranked:

  • Percentage served with 25/3 or better: 65.62
  • Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 3.46

ranking-kanabec-to-morrisonMississippi State University Extension have come up with a ranking system to gauge the digital divide index (DDI) by county. (The lower the number the better – the state average is 40.66.) Here’s how they ranked:

DDI score of 54.70 out of 100.

More info:

  • There is a matrix of Minnesota broadband adoption projects; it includes projects from this area.
  • Districts: CD 7
    Senate: 01
    House: 01A

I plan to profile each county in Minnesota – tracking broadband access, digital divide and annotated links to news of what’s happening with broadband in the county. I’m keeping it high level because there are 87 counties!

Kandiyohi County underserved but improving with State broadband grant

kandiyohiKandiyohi is a county that is largely underserved. Coverage at speeds of 25/3 (Mbps down/up) is 77 percent but only 8 percent have access to speeds of 100/20, which is the speed goal for 2026. They have made huge strides since 2014, when coverage (albeit for a slower definition of broadband) was 14 percent. They need to upgrade their connectivity and continue to expand it.

The good news is that Consolidated Telecommunications Co. (CTC) was awarded a $4.94 million grant to improve serves in New London, Spicer and Willmar and Frontier was awarded a grant of $1.02 million to improve service in rural Kandiyohi County.

Kandiyohi County is also in line to receive $1,382,302 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 2,060 locations. Representative Baker was pleased to announce the investment. Unfortunately, CAF 2 recipients are only required to upgrade to 10/1 access. Many may choose to upgrade to better speeds but there are no requirements.

Kandiyohi was Blandin Broadband Community, which means they had support building broadband adoption. One project was a number of public wireless hotspot locations in the county. They have a broadband committee that have spearheaded a feasibility study and encouraged visits from policymakers, such as Lt Governor Tina Smith.

Numbers:

The Office of Broadband Development released data on broadband covered in fall of 2016, based on information gathered in July 2016. Here’s how they ranked:

  • Percentage served with 25/3 or better: 77.25
  • Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 8.14

ranking-kanabec-to-morrisonMississippi State University Extension have come up with a ranking system to gauge the digital divide index (DDI) by county. (The lower the number the better – the state average is 40.66.) Here’s how they ranked:

DDI score of 37.18 out of 100.

More info:

  • There is a matrix of Minnesota broadband adoption projects; it includes projects from this area.
  • Districts: CD 7
    Senate: 17
    House: 17A, 17B

I plan to profile each county in Minnesota – tracking broadband access, digital divide and annotated links to news of what’s happening with broadband in the county. I’m keeping it high level because there are 87 counties!

Kanabec County Broadband profile: access at 34 percent

kanabecA third of Kanabec County has access to broadband; actually 34 percent have access to broadband at speeds of 25/3 (Mbps down/up) and 26 percent have access to 100/20, the 2026 Minnesota speed goals. That service is about the same reported in 2014, when it was 28 percent coverage, albeit back them broadband was defined at a slower speed.

In December 2016, the Kanabec County Times outlined some of the options and proposed options in the county. Here are the highlights:

Midcontinent Communications advertises up to 200 Mbps down / 20 Mbps up, but not outside the city limits of Mora and Ogilvie right now. Midco says it will launch Gigabit service sometime in 2017. Great news for those areas.

CenturyLink is making upgrades. (Kanabec County is in line to receive $2,057,245 in CAF 2 funding to upgrade 4,966 locations. ) Based on the article, it sounds like CenturyLink may be talking about fiber to the node – not to the premise…

“That’s Century Link’s new fiber-optic installation, one of the main technological ingredients that will allow homes to experience a more reasonable connection. Then again, you have to define the words reasonable and fast. Century Link will offer speeds of “at least 10 Mbps (megabits per second) download and 1 Mbps upload to locations in FCC-designated, high-cost census blocks.” While that bandwidth will be a huge improvement for those with no wired internet options, it’s still below the FCC’s definition of broadband which is 25Mbps download / 3Mbps upload.”

For the rest of Kanabec County, internet options are limited to the choice of one cable provider or satellite. On the outskirts of Ogilvie, for instance, some homes are nowhere near cable connections, leaving residents with expensive options. One satellite provider locally offers up to 12 Mbps download speed for $150/month. Plus there’s inherent latency (delay) with satellite. Customers in these underserved areas may also spend $100-$200 a month on cell phone data to operate from a hot spot.

Numbers:

The Office of Broadband Development released data on broadband covered in fall of 2016, based on information gathered in July 2016. Here’s how Kanabec County ranked:

  • Percentage served with 25/3 or better: 34.04
  • Percentage served with 100/20 or better: 26.07

ranking-kanabec-to-morrison

Mississippi State University Extension have come up with a ranking system to gauge the digital divide index (DDI) by county. (The lower the number the better – the state average is 40.66.) Here’s how Kanabec ranked:

DDI score of 55.30 out of 100.

More info:

I plan to profile each county in Minnesota – tracking broadband access, digital divide and annotated links to news of what’s happening with broadband in the county. I’m keeping it high level because there are 87 counties!