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Cass County

Table of goal data by year
Year 25/3 Mbps 100/20 Mbps
2020 #44 of 87
84.53%
#68 of 87
63.21%
2019 #37 of 87
88.02%
#68 of 87
51.61%
2018 #50 of 87
77.58%
#70 of 87
35.92%
2017 #62 of 87
66.92%
#61 of 87
34.07%
Coverage map graphic

Rank: 66 (out of 87) for access to 100/20 megabits per second (Mbps)

The good news for Cass County is that they are included in two projects that received Border to Border state grants in 2019; they should see improvements once those projects are completed. Also, CTC recently received CARES Act funds to deploy better broadband to serval areas, including Cass County. Finally, Lake Shore City (in Cass County) is also looking to improve access in their area. So, while at 63 percent coverage, they are currently not well served, yet they are actively looking to improve, and they have providers in the area that seem interested in improvements.

What we learned in the past:

Cass County benefited from two MN state grants:

  • 2016 – TDS TELECOM CASS & CROW WING COUNTIES — GRANT: $3,000,000
  • 2014 – Consolidated Telephone Cooperative, Region 5 Virtual Highway Project – Award $2 million

One issue is that the 2016 grant aimed for 25/3 Mbps speeds so that won’t move the needle much. In September 2018, Paul Bunyan announced Gigazone upgrades in Cass County.

Update from 2020:

In September (2020),  CTC received CARES Act funding from both Crow Wing and Cass County to build broadband to unserved areas of Welton Road, County Rd 10, Border Lake, Little Pine Road and unserved areas in Lake Edward Township. Earlier in the summer, Lake Shore City put out a request for bids from broadband providers to help improve connectivity, especially in light of increased need do to COVID restrictions.

Cass County is part of two projects that received Border to Border grants in the last round:

  • 2019: Paul Bunyan Communications – North Central Minnesota Fiber Project– GRANT $2,562,916
    This last mile project will upgrade approximately 914 unserved and 439 underserved locations in parts of the Leech Lake Indian Reservation and rural portions of Cass, Itasca, Koochiching, and St. Louis counties. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Minnesota Iron Range Resource & Rehabilitation Board, Koochiching County, and Morcom Township, Paul Bunyan Communications will improve broadband service levels up to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. A fiber-to-the premise project, the proposed project areas are a response to consumer demand and will provide relief in economically distressed communities that need new alternatives to diversify and strengthen.
  • Total eligible cost is $6,268,400
  • Local match is $3,705,484
  • 2019: WCTA (West Central Telephone Association) – Rural Staples Phase I Project – GRANT $555,355
    This last mile project will serve 69 unserved households and 40 unserved businesses, farms, and community anchor institutions in areas of Staples and Villard townships in Todd County; areas of Thomastown township in Wadena County; and areas of Becker township in Cass County. In a funding partnership with the State of Minnesota, Sourcewell, and Region 5, WCTA will improve broadband service levels up to 1 Gbps download and 1 Gbps upload, exceeding the 2022 and 2026 state speed goals. Broadband access will allow farmers and ranchers to follow markets, talk with customers and reach new markets, and use the latest precision agriculture tools to enhance their operations. The broadband network will improve access to health care, specifically mental health and senior care through e-visits and tele-health applications. Broadband will also help business owners manage remotely and could stimulate the local economy.
  • Total eligible cost is $1,234,123
  • Local match is $678,768

Find more articles on broadband in Cass County.

Household Density

4.9

Number of Providers

13

As of 2019 · Source: MN DEED

Households with Device Access

Computer 85.6% 90.3%
statewide
Desktop or Laptop 73.3% 81.1%
statewide
Smartphone 67.6% 76.5%
statewide
Tablet 50.1% 59.3%
statewide
Other 3.0% 3.5%
statewide

Has Worked with Blandin Foundation

Yes

See examples of community broadband adoption projects from Cass County and other communities participating in this 2015-2016 Blandin Broadband Communities cohort https://blandinfoundation.org/content/uploads/vy/BBC_2015-16_Project_Matrix.pdf

Has Received MN Grant(s)

Yes

Government Districts

U.S. Congress: CD 8

MN Senate: 05, 09

MN House: 05A, 05B, 09A

Find Your Representatives

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