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Clearwater County

Table of goal data by year
Year 25/3 Mbps 100/20 Mbps
2019 #4 of 87
#18 of 87
2018 #5 of 87
#13 of 87
2017 #4 of 87
#23 of 87
Cover image for profile PDF, showing title and Minnesota map graphic Coverage map graphic

Rank: 17 (of 87) for access to 100/20 broadband megabits per second (Mbps)

Clearwater County is likely to meet the state speed goals for 2022; but the outlook isn’t as clear for 2026.

Clearwater has been well poised for broadband for several years, but there has been little improvement in the last couple years. There is almost ubiquitous coverage for 25/3 Mbps access but they need more to reach the 2026 goals.

In 2018, Garden Valley Telephone Company received a $20 million loan from the USDA to make system improvements (fiber-optic facilities and construct fiber-to-the-premises) in Polk, Clearwater, Pennington, Marshall and Red Lake counties, and in the vacation resort areas of Maple Lake and Union Lake. That may be the leap the county needs to close the gap for the 2026 goal.

There are 7 providers in Clearwater, but you can see from the map below that much of Clearwater County is served by only one provider and that is not a national provider. It can be difficult to persuade a national provider to upgrade in areas where the business case is not clear. But there is (at least) one area where there is competition. There are several providers in the county that provide speeds to meet the 2026 goals. It’s a matter of working with those providers to encourage upgrades in the areas that are currently underserved.

Clearwater has not benefited from a state broadband grant – yet. The grant program has prioritized geographic diversity among awardees but there were no applications submitted for 2019 that might help.

Find more articles on broadband in Clearwater County.

Household Density


Number of Providers


Has Worked with Blandin Foundation


Has Received MN Grant(s)


Government Districts

U.S. Congress: CD 7

MN Senate: 02

MN House: 02A, 02B

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