Otter Tail is 84th out of 87 counties in access to fast internet service

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

Border-to-border high-speed internet access is the goal throughout Minnesota.

In the next 10 years the state wants to have 80 percent of households and businesses have access to at least one provider of broadband internet service speeds of 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) download and 20 Mbps upload.

Otter Tail County, at the present time, ranks 84th out of Minnesota’s 87 counties in this effort. Otter Tail has only 1.75 percent of households and businesses with 100/20 or better.

These figures come from the latest broadband rankings released by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

Clay County, which includes Moorhead, ranks 22nd and has 74.13 percent of households and businesses with 100/20 or better.

Not much better than Otter Tail County is Douglas County, which includes the Alexandria area. Douglas ranks 80th but has 7.68 percent of households and businesses with 100/20 or better.

“The Office of Broadband Development helps Minnesota residents understand broadband options available,” says Jane Leonard, Broadband Grant Administrator for DEED.

Leonard says that by the year 2022 Minnesota has a goal to be among the top five states in the nation for broadband speed universally accessible to residents and businesses.

“High-speed internet is important when one considers the economic impacts when competing globally,” said Leonard.

First in the state with 100/20 or better, at 99.39 percent, is Ramsey County which includes St. Paul.

Ranking second is Lac qui Parle County, south of Morris, with 99.36 percent for 100/20 access. In third place is Waseca County at 98.75 percent.

Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis, is fourth with 98.57 percent.

Last place among Minnesota’s 87 counties are Roseau, Lake of the Woods and Lyon (Marshall area). No households or businesses in those counties have 100/20 or better.