Door and Kewaunee counties are working hard to make sure you have the internet connection you need to live, work, and play in the area.
Of the 194 grant applications announced by the Wisconsin Broadband Office earlier in March, three originated in Door County and two came from Kewaunee County. In Door County, the Town of Baileys Harbor and NSight Communications requested approximately $1.89 million while a different Northern Door County project proposed by Frontier Communications asked for $4.7 million. Spectrum also requested $6.8 million in broadband expansion grant dollars. Bug Tussel Wireless requested $1.3 million in grant funds for the next phase of its project with Kewaunee County while the Village of Casco asked for $265,000 for its partnership with NSight. The five projects are competing for $100 million in grant dollars from the state, though approximately $495 million has been requested.
Some communities are further along than others with Bug Tussel Wireless cutting the ribbon on a new tower in Kewaunee County and Cellcom starting to connect homes and businesses with fiber internet in Luxemburg. Sturgeon Bay’s Quantum Technologies is working with the Washington Island Electric Cooperative to bring fiber internet to the town’s residents and businesses. While she stresses that some on the island are still a couple of years away from having a strong internet connection available to them, Quantum Technologies’ Erin Helgeson says it has been a great
In an interview with WisconsinEye, Public Service Commission Chairperson Rebecca Valcq estimated that 650,000 Wisconsinites do not have access to broadband internet and a similar number cannot afford it. Helgeson says some options like Starlink have provided some gap coverage for those waiting to get a faster fiber connection. Grant applicants will not find out if they receive the state funding until this summer.