Ranking higher than about 60% of the states across the US in terms of wired broadband internet access, Minnesota is the 20th most well-connected state in the nation. Minnesota’s average download speed of 161.4 Mbps is comparable with much higher-ranking states, such as Rhode Island, which ranks 4th in the US. The best coverage in Minnesota can be found in clusters of counties toward the northwest, the southeast, and the eastern-most tip of the state. At this time, 23% of Minnesotans have access to fiber-optic internet services, which is just 2% lower than the national average.
The Digital Divide in Minnesota
The technological gap between those with access to up-to-date telecommunications technologies and those who do not is what is known as the ‘digital divide’. In Minnesota, this digital divide is seen in the fact that some residents have access to low-priced, high-speed internet services while others do not.
For example, 91.4% of Minnesotans have access to a wired broadband connection with speeds of 25 Mbps or faster, while 440,000 people in Minnesota are left without a connection capable of the same. Additionally, even with 266 internet providers operating in Minnesota, 125,000 people still don’t have any wired internet providers with services available at their place of residence. Another 744,000 people in Minnesota are limited to just one provider at their location, leaving them no options to switch and giving them little choice in internet plans.
Beyond that, affordability data reveals that only 15.1% of Minnesotans have access to a low-priced monthly internet plan that costs $60 or less. This is much lower than the national average of 51.5% of consumers who have access to the same.
On the other side of the digital divide lay Henriette, Nett Lake, Donaldson, and Humboldt, which are the lowest ranking cities in Minnesota, as far as wired broadband access is concerned. Henriette is the lowest ranking in the state at this time with an average internet speed of just 1.73 Mbps.
Find out how Minnesota compares with the rest of the states here.
Since 2010, almost $4.5 million in federal grants has been directed toward broadband development in Minnesota, and millions more have been granted toward broadband infrastructure projects within the state.
In 2014, the Minnesota Office of Broadband Development launched the Border to Border Broadband Development Grant Program with the goal of expanding broadband services to underserved areas throughout the state. The program has appropriated millions of dollars worth of grant money toward this goal in recent years.
The information above is collected from a combination of public and private datasets. Read more about our data here.