Office of the Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch
Office of the Lt. Gov, Rebecca Kleefisch - Press Release

Broadband To The Future

Monday, July 14, 2014 - Press Release

If your family is anything like my family, you’ve likely heard a child ask the 21st century equivalent of “Are we there yet?” Kids these days instead demand, “Why won’t this page load faster?” In our modern, globally-connected, screen-driven world, nothing frustrates a student, employee, or customer more than a slow-moving webpage.

When it comes to Internet access, speed and functionality are essential. That's why we have a growing need for broadband high-speed, high-capacity Internet access that is always on and performs faster than traditional dial-up access. The days of dial-up internet connectivity are drawing to a close as the new frontier of high-speed broadband connectivity continues to emerge. And the speed at which it is taking over is noteworthy: in just a thirteen year span, the percentage of the US adult population that had access to broadband connection increased from 3% to more than 70%. Yet there are still some Wisconsinites who are waiting along the curb of this information superhighway.

That’s why today I am visiting Rhinelander, Eau Claire, and Platteville to announce the recipients of our broadband expansion grants. As part of our 2013-2015 budget, the Walker-Kleefisch administration allocated $500,000 to expand and improve broadband coverage in the most underserved areas of our state. 

With the assistance of these dollars ,  communities like Eau Claire, part of a consortium that received a $139,467 grant, will be able to construct a fiber route and a wireless tower providing broadband connection to thirty schools across three school districts.  Communities in Vilas County, with the help of a $68,313 grant, will now be able to construct a nine mile fiber route northwest of Eagle River to bring better Internet connectivity to more than 300 homes and businesses. And thanks to a $13,874 grant, the townships of Cloverland, Phelps, and Winchester will receive three wireless towers, providing broadband access to approximately 800 new locations.

These investments are important because broadband internet access is about way more than just streaming movies and music and surfing the web.  It allows local businesses to connect with colleagues and customers across the street or across the globe. It enables our students to explore the world with interactive information. Broadband expands the economic and educational horizons of our citizens and is a key to Wisconsin’s economic development. Our jobs of the future depend on it.

High-speed internet is the pathway by which we all access the accumulated knowledge and opportunities around us.  Through these broadband expansion grants, state government is proving yet again its commitment to bettering the lives of all Wisconsinites and moving our state forward.

The traditional days of dial-up are fast drawing to a close…high-speed broadband is stepping on the gas that fuels Wisconsin.