• WisBusiness

Monday, January 9, 2012

Making the rural connections

By Thad Nation
If you live in certain areas of Wisconsin, the idea of not being able to pull out your smartphone, laptop or tablet and connect to the Internet seems antiquated. With broadband so accessible and so persuasive, why wouldn’t your device quickly search for and pick up the local broadband provider?

Take those same devices into certain, more rural areas of the state, and you’ll have a completely different answer as many Wisconsin communities still lack access to strong, reliable broadband.

Late in 2011, the Wisconsin Technology Council released a report, “Connecting rural Wisconsin: The economic necessity of broadband,” which shows that there is needed improvement in Wisconsin. According to the report, Wisconsin ranks low in specific, yet critical broadband categories when compared to other states. Wisconsin ranked 43rd out of 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories in the percentage of households with access to broadband at download speeds of greater than 3 mbps.

Even the Federal Communications Commission’s data support the need for improvement. The FCC issued a report in March 2011 that showed that while Wisconsin’s percentage of residential broadband connections at 2000 kbps was nearly 85 percent, that’s only better than 10 other states in the country.

So what are some ways that this issue can be addressed in Wisconsin? The WTC report suggests support of the National Wireless Initiative, a plan supported by President Obama that targets high-speed wireless service for 98 percent of Americans by 2016. Another option is to extend federal broadband grants to leverage private investment. A third focus, according to the report, should be on clearing up any regulatory barriers and avoiding the implementation of new ones.

A fourth way is through regulatory reform, which will reduce barriers to entry in rural communities by broadband providers. For example, the Federal Communications Commission has recommend reforming the Universal Service Fund, which was established in 1997 to help fund federal universal service. This fund, which is based on the Telecommunications Act of 1996, was established at a time when telecommunications technology started its rapid evolution. The current problem is that many of the services currently funded by the USF are based in traditional telecommunication services, not wireless or broadband services.

Regardless of how it is funded, there is a true need for increased broadband penetration in Wisconsin’s rural communities. From encouraging economic development to being a part of telemedicine services, broadband is no longer a luxury service.

Without improved broadband, Wisconsin is missing out on opportunities. According to the report, every $5 billion invested in broadband infrastructure directly creates 10,000 new jobs in the telecommunications and information technology industries alone, not to mention the opportunity it opens up for new startups or businesses considering Wisconsin as a place to relocate. Rural communities that have broadband access also offer high quality of life, an available workforce and prime land for development.

At Wired Wisconsin, we actually track these numbers even more closely in our online Broadband and Wireless Investment and Jobs Tracker, which can be found at http://www.wiredwisconsin.org/investment-map/. During the first quarter of tracking, from June through September of 2011, 12 projects were deployed around Wisconsin, resulting in a total estimated investment of $12.08 million dollars and the creation of 604 jobs. That number will continue to grow as more investment continues in Wisconsin.

We also know that even a slight increase in broadband access can result in a large boost for Wisconsin. A Connected Nation Study projects that a seven-percent increase in broadband access in Wisconsin would result in $2.6 billion in economic impact.

Why would we not pursue this? We’ve identified the need, we know the end result and now is the time to do what we can as a state to encourage broadband expansion.

The Wisconsin Technology Council’s report can be read in its entirety at: http://tinyurl.com/7s6luhb.

-- Nation is executive director of Wired Wisconsin, the Wisconsin-based project of Midwest Consumers for Choice and Competition (MCCC), a non-profit organization of individual consumers interested in technology, broadband, and telecommunication issues with state projects throughout the Midwest region.


Comments: 5

At February 12, 2019 at 4:09 AM, Blogger suzain lian said...

in this month's Rural Connections i will recap an Custom Essay Writing Service incident of which i was recently made aware. The incident befell in a rural community

At February 14, 2019 at 6:14 AM, Blogger John Jacob said...

Some other option is to increase federal broadband grants to leverage private investment. The cutting edge hassle is that a number of the services currently funded by Pro-Homework-Help means of the are primarily based in traditional. There is a real want for accelerated broadband penetration in Wisconsin’s rural communities.

At February 22, 2019 at 3:32 AM, Blogger Liam said...

Mostly we face problems while writing assignments is because of lack of writing skills or we don’t know from where I will get proper information for my assignment. To solve this issue many assignment online service are available in market.
Programming Assignment Help

At April 8, 2019 at 1:21 AM, Blogger SheritaGreen456 said...

The relationship between urban and rural areas is changing is countries all over the world while some of the issues like changing agricultural systems are universal other aspects of the process are specific to certain countries or regions. I love when you share your views through the best articles thank you. The Sinking City Leather Jacket

At April 29, 2019 at 6:37 AM, Blogger Sania said...

The people of rural areas are sacrifices in terms of economic or other things. Yesterday, I had to do a Personal statement writing on a topic regarding rural areas received by on of the customer. When I do research, I realized that how difficult is it for the people of rural areas to survive.


Post a Comment

Back to BizOpinion main page

: See newer blog items : : See older blog items :

BizOpinion site feed

wisbusiness.com Social News

Follow Us

Site Sponsors


· January 2009
· February 2009
· March 2009
· April 2009
· May 2009
· June 2009
· July 2009
· August 2009
· September 2009
· October 2009
· November 2009
· December 2009
· January 2010
· February 2010
· March 2010
· April 2010
· May 2010
· June 2010
· July 2010
· August 2010
· September 2010
· October 2010
· November 2010
· December 2010
· January 2011
· February 2011
· March 2011
· April 2011
· May 2011
· June 2011
· July 2011
· August 2011
· September 2011
· October 2011
· November 2011
· December 2011
· January 2012
· February 2012
· March 2012
· April 2012
· May 2012
· June 2012
· July 2012
· August 2012
· September 2012
· October 2012
· November 2012
· December 2012
· January 2013
· February 2013
· March 2013
· April 2013
· May 2013
· June 2013
· July 2013
· August 2013
· September 2013
· October 2013
· November 2013
· December 2013
· January 2014
· February 2014
· March 2014
· April 2014
· May 2014
· June 2014
· July 2014
· August 2014
· September 2014
· October 2014
· November 2014
· December 2014
· January 2015
· February 2015
· March 2015
· April 2015
· May 2015
· June 2015
· July 2015
· August 2015
· September 2015
· October 2015
· November 2015
· December 2015
· January 2016
· February 2016
· March 2016
· April 2016
· May 2016
· July 2016
· August 2016
· October 2016
· December 2016
Copyright ©2013 WisBusiness.com All rights reserved. | WisOpinion.com | WisPolitics.com  |  Website development by wisnet.com LLC  | Website design by Makin’ Hey Communications