‘Until every part of the state is hooked up’ —Governor unveils broadband initiative in Amery
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Vowing to continue to work with the private sector until “every part of the state” is connected to high speed internet, Gov. Scott Walker unveiled an enhanced broadband expansion grant program during a visit to Northwest Communications in Amery Oct. 12.
Northwest Communications’ President and General Manager Mike Jensen announced that his company plans to install 1,000 miles of fiber optic service in the next five years. Jensen said that fiber would reach 70 percent of their customers by the end of the project.
“We have 360 miles of fiber optic cable in our warehouse,” he said. “If I did my math I think you can start in Amery and go past Madison all the way to the Illinois border and still have a little left over, and that’s only a third of what we plan to install. It’s kind of a big thing for us.”
Somerset Telephone, a subsidiary of Northwest Communications, received a $90,000 grant to build a fiber to the home project in Star Prairie Township in St. Croix County. The grant provides 26.5% of the cost of the project.
The grant was one of 13 projects that received grants from the Public Service Commission (PSC) for the 2018 fiscal year.