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Benton County

Table of goal data by year
Year 25/3 Mbps 100/20 Mbps
2020 #23 of 87
92.05%
#21 of 87
89.36%
2019 #31 of 87
91.47%
#21 of 87
88.18%
2018 #35 of 87
87.49%
#75 of 87
25.83%
2017 #32 of 87
87.61%
#74 of 87
14.28%
Coverage map graphic

Two years ago, Benton County moved the broadband needle from 26 to 88 percent for access to 100/20 Mbps after benefitting from two MN Border to Border grants. Change has been minimal since that time, but they will benefit from another grant awarded in the last round. Hopefully, we will see greater increase next year. They are at the top quarter of the ranking but to maintain rank and move ahead they need to stay focused.

What we learned in the past:

Benton County saw a big leap in access in 2018, presumably after getting two Border to Border grants in 2017 (and one in 2014) in their area:

  • 2017 – Benton Cooperative Telephone Company – Rice Ramey – GRANT $765,015
  • 2017 – Palmer Wireless – Duelm Hwy 95 – GRANT $162,814
  • 2014-CenturyLink Foley, Benton County–Balkan Township – Award: $382,883.

Previously, they were one of the original MIRC (Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities), the Blandin Foundation’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)-funded broadband adoption program.

Update from 2020:

Benton County saw a slight increase in access in the last year. They will benefit from the most recent round of MN Border to Border grants:

  • Benton Cooperative Telephone Company – Ramey Phase I – GRANT $936,759
    This last mile project will serve approximately 253 unserved households, nine unserved businesses, two unserved town halls, and 97 unserved farms in the Ramey ILEC exchange in portions of Alberta and Granite Ledge Townships in Benton County, and portions of Hillman, Lakin, and Morrill Townships in Morrison County, and a portion of Page Township in Mille Lacs County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Benton Cooperative Telephone Company will improve broadband service levels to at least 25 Mbps download and 25 Mbps upload, and a maximum speed of 100 Mbps download and 100 Mbps upload, meeting or exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. These homes and businesses will have faster access to needed crop prices, ordering parts, educational opportunities, and telemedicine services.
  • Total eligible project cost is $2,676,454
  • Local match is $1,739,695

Find more articles on broadband in Big Stone County.

Household Density

36.5

Number of Providers

9

As of 2019 · Source: MN DEED

Households with Device Access

Computer 89.3% 90.3%
statewide
Desktop or Laptop 76.8% 81.1%
statewide
Smartphone 74.8% 76.5%
statewide
Tablet 54.2% 59.3%
statewide
Other 3.6% 3.5%
statewide

Has Worked with Blandin Foundation

Yes

Has Received MN Grant(s)

Yes

Government Districts

U.S. Congress: CD 6

MN Senate: 13, 14, 15

MN House: 13B, 14B, 15B

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