Broadband

Wisconsin.gov

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...

en.wikipedia.org

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.

commons.wikimedia.org

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.

WXPR

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.

Geralt-Pixabay

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.” 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/i_look/2286514304/sizes/m/

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. 

commons.wikimedia.org

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...

 

Ken Hammond-U.S.D.A.

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.....

 

Robert Ashworth

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. 

U-W Extension

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....

Pages