Gaps in critical broadband communications infrastructure, as well as in utilization are present throughout HON (Heart of the North counties). Not only is the availability of high-speed Internet service essential to commerce and quality of life, but that service must be of the speed and quality required for today’s multiple uses ranging from finding information on the Web, general business practice, telemedicine, videoconferencing, and sending and receiving large amounts of data.


HON residents have considerable obstacles to overcome in their efforts to continue improving their lives, families, businesses and communities if they do not have access to adequate and affordable broadband communications. Access to broadband equals access to opportunity for both commerce and individuals. With broadband, people can search for jobs, start new innovative businesses, gain new skills, connect with critical health services, enjoy entertainment, network with others and do even more. Businesses can innovate, recruit the best possible employees, connect with partners and reach markets not otherwise accessible. Businesses also find broadband essential for recruiting talent, taking and submitting responses for business opportunities on-line, filing forms, obtaining approvals and licenses, etc. The services citizens count on, ranging from health care to public safety to education, are delivered more efficiently and can be made available anywhere with broadband accessibility. Broadband is a basic need for family members to maintain contact with one another and the availability of sufficient and affordable broadband service is critical to economic vitality and quality of life for all Wisconsin families, businesses and communities.


Action requested


·        Support the Governor’s proposed $35.5 million increase in state investment in rural broadband expansion by allocating surpluses from the Universal Service Fund for broadband and technology grants. We ask that strong emphasis be placed upon increasing broadband coverage using both High Capacity Wired Broadband and Fixed Wireless technologies.