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.
A top official says she hopes to create a better dialog between tribal governments in Wisconsin and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Tribal Relations Director Leslie Wheelock met in Mole Lake with tribal representatives and organizations in the region under the U.S.D.A. umbrella.
She says they want to get the word out about what they have to offer concerning economic development and a host of programs. She says that communication is one of the most difficult parts of her job as she has to get the word out to 566 tribal governments on all issues.....
Providing broadband access is about more than just building infrastructure; education is also needed.
That’s the message from Tithi Chattopadhyay, Broadband Chair for the state Public Service Commission. She says people who don’t have access may not realize what they’re missing - especially when it comes to business owners.
The city of Rhinelander and the Oneida county board this week each passed resolutions hoping to jump start this region as a high-speed internet hot spot.
The county board resolved as a goal to make the county home to the best broadband opportunities of any rural county in Wisconsin. Later that day, the Rhinelander city council passed a similar resolution. The county board directed a committee to act as a conduit to Oneida County Economic Development for these matters.
UW-Extension Community Resource Development agent Tim Brown says the action sets a benchmark....
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.”
Putting together ways to provide faster internet to underserved areas of the Northwoods was the topic of a forum held recently in the White Pine Room at WXPR.
People from a private Internet provider, government, non-profit coalitions, tribal representatives, and education discussed the need for economic development and connecting to the outside world.
Rob Riordan from Cellcom says in the early days of telephone, the government required a little extra from customers to be able to help serve areas without service. That model could work for broadband...