Lac qui Parle County
|Year||25/3 Mbps||100/20 Mbps|
#17 of 87
#9 of 87
#13 of 87
#6 of 87
#7 of 87
#2 of 87
Rank: 9 (out of 87) for broadband 100/20 megabits per second (Mbps)
Lac qui Parle is on track to meet both the 2022 and 2026 state broadband speed goals.
In 2009 Blandin Foundation funded a feasibility study for the county and Farmers Telephone Cooperative. The feasibility study’s engineering, operational, and market development plans were later used to support the partners’ successful American Recovery and Reinvestment (ARRA) funding application.
The county and Farmers were awarded a $9.6 million ARRA award in August 2010.
Construction began in late 2011 and was completed in the summer of 2014, having connected about 1,700 locations that previously had had no access to modern connections.
Unfortunately, the county seat of Madison did not qualify for the upgrade because their connection speeds were deemed too good for the upgrade. So LqP is in an unusual position where the biggest city is least-served and the rest of the county has fiber to the home.
The network has allowed home-based businesses and entrepreneurship to explode in the county, and also been a boon to small businesses. LqP’s partnership with Blandin continued through Lac qui Parle Valley School’s participation in the Blandin Broadband Communities (BBC) initiative.
LqP has benefited from two state grants:
- 2017 – Farmers Mutual Telephone – City of Watson and SW Lac qui Parle County FTTP – GRANT $760,501
Serving 136 unserved households, 15 unserved businesses, and 5 community anchor institutions within the City of Watson and several unserved areas of southwest Lac qui Parle County in western Minnesota with service levels to 1 Gbps down and 1 Gbps up.
- 2015 – MVTV Wireless Middle Mile
Grant award: $808,080
This project is a Middle Mile broadband infrastructure buildout to upgrade backhaul capacity between site locations within 20 southwestern Minnesota counties: Blue Earth, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Meeker, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pipestone, Rock, Redwood, Renville, Sibley Swift, Watonwan, and Yellow Medicine.
To get 100 percent coverage, LqP will likely need to work with Farmers (now Acria) to expand their connectivity or with another incumbent provider to match their speeds.