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The Internet Wasteland of East Central Minnesota

Your internet is slow.

It's not just slow, it's expensive. Oh, and you have no options. The holy trinity.

Welcome to the internet wasteland that is east central Minnesota.

Welcome to the Internet Wasteland

A recent roundtable on broadband internet held in Mora painted a shocking and unacceptable picture of internet services in Minnesota's east central region. Less than half (40.06%) of households in Pine County have been "served" by wireline broadband internet. Being "served" is defined as having at least 25 Mbps download speeds and 3 Mbps upload speeds offered.

Layman's terms: it takes roughly 25 Mbps to stream your average Netflix show or movie on high quality.

Somehow, Pine has it good compared to its neighbors to the west, Kanabec County, and considerably more fortunate than its northwest neighbors, Aitkin County. In Kanabec, only 34.75% of families have been served, and a paltry 28.01% of Aitkin County residents see acceptable internet offerings.

Statewide, the Minnesota Office of Broadband Development says that 88.11% of the state has been served, but only 73.45% of rural areas receive it. Below are the percentages of households served in 2017 in the region.

No End in Sight to the Wasteland

Aitkin, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine combine to form an internet wasteland in the middle of the state.

Minnesota made it a goal to have 100% of the state "served" with these speeds by 2022, a deadline that will be nearly impossible to hit considering their last goal attempt. With a cutoff in 2015, Minnesota attempted to provide at least 10 Mbps upload speeds and 5 Mbps download speeds. Here's how they did:

Essentially the same, and a bit worse than their current predicament. However, Minnesota still has four more years to hit the 25/3 Mbps goal.

How to Escape the Wasteland

Move south. Or north. Or east. Or west.

In all seriousness, time to develop new or improve on current technologies will be the most impactful factor in serving more households in the region.

Until then, at least this article loaded for you.

Maps and statistics provided by the Minnesota Office of Broadband Development.

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