Tom Still: The need to fix rural broadband
Missy Hughes, the secretary of Wisconsin’s leading economic development agency, doesn’t need much lecturing on the shortcomings of broadband penetration in rural Wisconsin.

Her family’s home sits at the end of a rural road in southwest Wisconsin, with a driveway that stretches a third of a mile off the road.

The broadband connection is through a satellite dish, a solution that works well enough but it’s an expensive one driven by a lack of choices.

Such is the story in much of rural Wisconsin, where robust broadband connections can be hard to come by in many communities — a reality that was threatening economic vitality long before the COVID-19 epidemic hit...


Ken Notes: Well said Tom. I am going to mention this ONE MORE TIME -- The solution for rural boroadband is at hand BUT we need to react now, today, immediately.

The newest cellular tech, 5G, is designed to bring high speed internet to both our phones and homes not to mention business. The developers will make billions providing this service to our densely populated urban centers. These same providers will ignore rural Wisconsin unless we act NOW. We must trade access to highly profitable urban areas for rural coverage. Provider will kick and scream, pour millions into our legislators purses, and say we just can`t do it.

BUT THEY CAN the backbone for the system often runs right through rural Wisconsin. The technology is in place we need the cellular grid to complete the delivery. Providers will say this is not affordable but that is from the perspective of the billions in profits they are hoping for. This will take strong leadership, cooperation with all levels of government, and a plan of action.

We did this in the 90`s in Wisconsin and the Fox Valley, I was there, I heard the whining and saw the efforts to stop us. BUT in the end we prevailed and we can do it again 40 years latter.

- - Volume: 8 - WEEK: 28 Date: 7/9/2020 8:28:18 AM -