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Rock County

Table of goal data by year
Year 25/3 Mbps 100/20 Mbps
2020 #1 of 87
99.93%
#1 of 87
99.93%
2019 #2 of 87
99.93%
#1 of 87
99.93%
2018 #2 of 87
99.93%
#1 of 87
99.93%
2017 #61 of 87
68.17%
#28 of 87
66.32%
Coverage map graphic

Rank: 1 (out of 87) for access to 100/20 megabits per second (Mbps)

In 2014, Rock County Broadband Alliance received a MN Border to Border grant to bring Fiber to the Home (FTTH) to almost all of Rock County. The community worked with the cooperative. They worked on deploying broadband. They became a Blandin Broadband Community and they worked on broadband adoption.

They spoke with Blandin on Broadband about whether broadband was a help or hindrance in dealing with COVID restrictions. It was a huge help. They can do anything and everything online – and they do. Access to healthcare, especially mental health is even easier now. Civic engagement has increased now that meetings are held online. It was easy to get students the connections they need for distance education because affordability and devices were the roadblock and those were easier to fix that having to deploy broadband.

Broadband has changed their quality of life.

What we learned in the past:

Rock County benefited from two MN broadband grants:

  • 2015 – MVTV Wireless Middle Mile – Grant award: $808,080
  • 2014 – Rock County Broadband Alliance (RCBA), FTTP Project – Award: $5 million.

Update from 2020:

Rock County was a Blandin Broadband Community (BBC); the Blandin broadband team met (virtually) with them this summer to hear how things were going. It turns out they were going well.

Is broadband a help or hindrance in dealing with COVID?
Rock County met with Blandin on Broadband to talk about how their broadband situation helped or hindered the ability to deal with COVID restrictions.

Countywide ubiquitous broadband means the pandemic is an inconvenience but not a stopper. Kids could access classes remotely. People could work from home. County Commission meetings went online, and attendance picked up. Libraries hosted online events. Entire families worked, learned and entertained themselves online without slowing each other down. Everyone could Zoom at the same time.

They talked about how having sufficient broadband has allowed them to collaborate and innovate.

Healthcare has moved online, which has been a boon. With changes in policy and reimbursement, nearly everyone has moved to online care. That has opened the door to greater mental healthcare coverage as counselors can now be located anywhere. It has improved privacy and has been a time saving for patients and their loved ones.

Broadband has kept folks living facilities, such a nursing homes, in touch with each other and the outside world. It’s been a social lifeline to seniors who have otherwise had strict COVID quarantine rules in place.

Find more articles on broadband in Rock County.

Household Density

8.1

Number of Providers

10

As of 2019 · Source: MN DEED

Households with Device Access

Computer 87.9% 90.3%
statewide
Desktop or Laptop 76.9% 81.1%
statewide
Smartphone 70.7% 76.5%
statewide
Tablet 54.0% 59.3%
statewide
Other 2.7% 3.5%
statewide

Has Worked with Blandin Foundation

Yes

Has Received MN Grant(s)

Yes

Government Districts

U.S. Congress: CD 1

MN Senate: 22

MN House: 22A

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