In January, Nicollet County was awarded a grant by the Blandin Foundation to complete a county-wide broadband plan. A draft of the Nicollet County Broadband Strategic Plan was presented to the Nicollet County Board in September by consultants from Finley Engineering and CCG Consulting. The purpose of the plan was to gather information about broadband internet service in the County and determine the market demand, technology alternatives, and costs. Where gaps are identified, the hope is the plan will help facilitate more grants and private sector investment to improve broadband service in the County.
The term “broadband” refers to internet connections that can transfer data and information (like webpages) at high speeds. Wired broadband service is considered the most reliable form of high-speed internet. Currently 82% of Nicollet County households are served with wired broadband service. However, the map below shows most of the wired broadband is located in St. Peter and North Mankato (green color), while the remainder of the County is considered unserved (pink color), with no wired broadband.