Broadband

Tim Brown

Oneida County UW-Extension is losing two members as one of them has been hired to by the State Department to work in U.S. embassies overseas.

Community Resource Development agent  and department co-chair Tim Brown and his spouse, Kim Brown will be leaving next month. Kim Brown is  coordinator of Nutrition Education Program for Oneida and Langlade counties.

Tim Brown talks about his new job...

Communities and service providers have about a month to apply for state funds to expand broadband service.

Jill Hietpas, Broadband Outreach Specialist for UW Extension, gave a workshop in Rhinelander Monday to talk about the half-a-million dollars in funds offered through the Public Service Commission. 

Hietpas says money aims to reach areas with little broadband access, and requires that communities partner with service providers.

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Several Northwoods companies and communities received state grants recently to help expand high-speed internet across the region. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has announced the next round of broadband expansion grants with a deadline in mid-October.

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Wisconsin's Lieutenant Governor stopped in Rhinelander Monday with money to expand the reach of broadband in the Northwoods.

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin Broadband Director  Tithi  Chattopadhyay presented three Northwoods high speed internet providers with grants to expand broadband fiber and wirless coverage.

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The Executive Director of Grow North Regional Economic Development Corporation says the advent of faster Internet service will make a potentially-game changing effort possible.

The Oneida County Technology Committee is seeking funding from federal and state sources…to help fuel broadband development. 

Chair Don Sidlowski says the committee is filing preliminary paperwork Friday for a grant program through the FCC, the Federal Communications Commission. 

“It turns out that all of Oneida County, with the exception of Rhinelander, qualifies and so there’s a lot of places we can look in Oneida County for the federal dollars.”

An economic development summit in Lac du Flambeau begins Tuesday. 

The tribe’s spokesperson Brandon Thoms says it’s a way for businesses and leaders to share knowledge and build partnerships.                    

“Living here in the Northwoods sometimes we’re behind the times.  And so we’re trying to bring that up-to-speed, real-time information to our business community here in the Northwoods.” 

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Several Northwoods libraries are set to see improved broadband service by November. 

The Department of Administration and the Department of Public Instruction have announced a 4.2 million dollar expansion of BadgerNet through a partnership with several private companies.  The expansion will increase internet speeds for almost two thirds of the state’s libraries, including in Three Lakes, Eagle River, Crandon, and Mercer.  Libraries in Land o Lakes and Hurley will also benefit. 

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Voters in Phelps will have a referendum next spring on whether to go ahead with a plan for a new wireless internet tower.  

A town meeting vote narrowly defeated a proposal for buying a property slated for tower construction.  But a margin of just five votes prompted the town board this week to approve a referendum.

Phelps Town Chair Colin Snook says better high speed access would boost the economy. 

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A U.S.D.A. spokesperson says they're ready to help Native American tribes gear up to fulfill high-speed internet needs.

Representatives of the state's tribes met last week in Mole Lake with the U.S.D.A's Leslie Wheelock, who directs the Office of Tribal Relations in the nation's capitol.

She noted much of rural America is in need of high-speed internet access, especially on native lands. She says progress has been slow...

 

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