Broadband

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Earlier this week, Governor Scott Walker announced a new initiative called the Broadband Forward Community Certification Program. A state spokesperson says the program will help communities pave the way for improved broadband coverage.

Public Service Commission of Wisconsin spokesperson Elise Nelson says the program makes it easier for communities to get through the application process....

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Oneida County Economic Development Director Roger Luce was putting the final touches on a grant application Thursday that, if approved, could have a large impact on some underserved broadband areas.

The grant application is for more than $400,000 with a local fund match of more than $180,000. Luce says the project will add new equipment on existing Oneida county towers and , if approved, will impact a much larger portion of Oneida county that is underserved....

Oneida County UW-Extension

The recently-hired Oneida county UW-Extension agent says he found an issue front and center which mirrors what he found in another rural area: the need for more high-speed internet.

Myles Alexander is the Community, Natural Resources and Economic Development Educator in Rhinelander.

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Last week, Governor Scott Walker made several stops handing out money set aside in the state budget for broadband development in rural Wisconsin.

While in Antigo, Walker said the projects near Land O' Lakes, White Lake in Langlade county and Mattoon in Shawano county highlight a need in the Northwoods: better high-speed internet.

He says this is especially true in the tourism-dependent Northwoods...

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Governor Walker stopped in Antigo Thursday  morning to announced two broadband expansion grants in the area.

The grants are for $70,000 and $150,000 to expand broadband service in Langlade and Shawano counties. The money is part of $1.5 million put into the state budget to expand broadband in rural areas. Walker made the announcement at the Wittenberg Telephone office in Antigo.

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A Northwoods high speed internet and telephone provider is getting nearly a quarter-million dollars to expand high speed internet service toward Land O' Lakes and other communities.

ChoiceTel of Eagle River picked up a broadband expansion grant from the state, as part of a $1.5 million broadband expansion grant. The ChoiceTel grant is for just over $249,000.

ChoiceTel owner Ted Bogeman says this will extend the current high speed service about 18 more miles....

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Grow North Regional Economic Development Incorporated has sent out a number of surveys to Northwoods towns to gather information on Internet use.

Executive Director Angi Schreiber says the surveys will help get a clearer picture of broadband in the Northwoods...

"....residential, home-based business and businesses. We have teacher surveys going out to the schools. Those should be distributed directly to the schools. Those will be sent directly to the schools. The business and home-based business surveys will be hitting mailboxes this week..."

Options For Broadband In Lincoln Co. Discussed

Jun 22, 2015
Lisa Satayut

Boosting the economy, and offering the same educational opportunities for students, are  two reasons Lincoln County government is hoping to bring high speed Internet to the entire county.

The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors recently directed a committee with reaching out to different private and public entities to find the most feasible route. Although barred by state law to act as a public utility, the county can act as a facilitator.

Access in rural areas has been a key issue.

Interactive Broadband Map Launches for Wisconsin

Jun 3, 2015
en.wikipedia.org

The State Broadband Office has launched a new tool that may help close some gaps in internet coverage in the Northwoods. WXPR’s Emily Bright took a look.

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President Obama's  Broadband Opportunity Council  is seeking public comment on how federal agencies can promote broadband deployment, adoption and competition. The council is made up of 25  agencies. They're asking to identify regulations and other barriers hampering deployment of broadband. They're also seeking recommendations on ways to promote public and private investment in broadband along with understanding the challenges facing areas that don't have highest speed Internet.

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Democrats were surprised this week when the Republican dominated Joint Finance Committee cut $15 million to promote rural faster-speed Internet.

Residents in rural areas, especially businesses and schools, have asked for more funding for what is called broadband, saying they are at a disadvantage to areas that have it.

One of the proponents of the extra funding was Madison area state Senator Jon Erpenbach. Erpenbach says the measure was an attempt to continue development in rural areas...

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Another Northwoods region is hoping more broadband will spur economic development.

A survey last year of Iron County residents found that of more than 800 responding property owners, nearly one-fourth would start or move a business to Iron county if higher-speed internet is available.

Terry Daulton of  the Iron County Citizen's Forum says the survey was conducted by the Gogebic Range Broadband Committee....

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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