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

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.


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.


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.”

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. 

Bill Wilkinson / WXPR News

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.