The Lac du Flambeau tribe is moving forward with a plan to bring high speed internet access to the Lakeland area. The tribe has formed Ogema Communications, a company it hopes will deliver broadband access not only to tribal lands, but other parts of the Northwoods. Tribal spokesman Brandon Thoms says access to high-speed internet would stimulate job and business growth.
“There’s a huge need for reliable service throughout the Northwoods. And the tribe is looking to fill that need, or fill that void through the creation of Ogema Communications.”
Ogema is an Ojibwe word that means Chief. Thoms says the tribe is partnering with Minocqua and the Vilas County Economic Development Corporation to study the feasibility of supplying broadband coverage to the area.
“If all indicators signal that this is something that would work for not only the tribe but the area, Ogema Communications will then begin the work to start drawing up the plans and laying the cable, the fiber optic cable, and start building the infrastructure that goes with that.”
Thoms says Ogema Communications plans to seek grants from the Federal Communications Commission to help offset initial costs.