space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* White Potato Lake Fishing Derby Jan. 20
* Marinette Claims Peshtigo Invite Title; Coleman Takes 3rd at Cutler Classic
* Blue Devils Burn Bulldogs in Rematch
* Suring/Marinette Stay On Top; Peshtigo Win Streak At Seven
* M&M Thunder Extend Win Streak to 14 Games

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space
112217frontbroadband.jpg

IMPROVING CONNECTIVITY - Bringing high speed Broadband Internet service to everyone, regardless of where they live or work, is a goal of government at all levels in Wisconsin and all across the nation. At a meeting in Marinette County Courthouse on Thursday, Nov. 16, State Broadband Director Angie Dickison, center, presented the award held by Kevin Solway, recognizing the Town of Stephenson's achievement in becoming one of the first 16 Wisconsin municipalities certified as a "Broadband Forward Community." Solway, a supervisor on Stephenson Town Board and head of the Marinette County Information Services Department, had set up the meeting, but the award was a happy surprise. Shown left to right are Marinette County Board Chair Mark Anderson; Peter Johnson, Sr., CenturyLink; State Rep. Jeff Mursau of Crivitz; Jessica Kuhn, Sales and Marketing Director for Packerland Broadband; Dickison; Solway; Century Link Area Operations Manager Wally Purdun and Michael Repinski, Supervisor of Regional Operations for Century Link. Not shown are Marinette County Administrator John LeFebvre, County Librarian Jennifer Thiele, and UWEX Community Resource Development Agent Ellen Geisler, all of whom serve with Solway on the county's informal Broadband Expansion Committee and were meeting participants.

County, Town, State Working To Improve Internet Service

Angie Dickison, director of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission's State Broadband Office, came to Marinette County Courthouse on Thursday, Nov. 16 to meet with Marinette County and Town of Stephenson officials on their mutual goal of expanding high speed Internet service to all areas of the town and county.

The meeting was arranged by Kevin Solway, who serves as both a supervisor on the Stephenson Town Board and as director of Marinette County's Information Services Department.

Solway said he initially set the meeting up for the town's broadband expansion efforts, but because of the county's interest he had invited county officials and local state legislators to participate, along with representatives of the two companies that provide broadband service in Marinette County.

Among those who accepted the invitation were Marinette County Board Chair Mark Anderson; County Administrator John LeFebvre, County Library Director Jennifer Thiele, UWEX Community Resource Development Agent Ellen Geisler, (all of whom serve with Solway on the county's Broadband Committee), State Rep. Jeff Mursau of Crivitz; plus provider representatives Peter Johnson, Sr., Senior Engineer for Northeast Wisconsin for CenturyLink; Jessica Kuhn, Sales and Marketing Director for Packerland Broadband; Century Link Area Operations Manager Wally Purdun and Michael Repinski, Supervisor of Regional Operations for Century Link.

At visioning sessions earlier this year Marinette County Board had identified expanding broadband service to underserved areas of the county as a main goal, both for improving the quality of life and for improving prospects for economic growth. Solway has been working with both the county and the town on those goals.

As a surprise at the meeting, Dickison presented Solway with a certificate and plaque saluting the Town of Stephenson for achieving certification as an official Wisconsin Broadband Forward! Community, one of the first 15 since the program began in July of 2016.

Among other things, certification requires adopting an ordinance that streamlines the local permitting process and reduces obstacles. Certification recognizes the community's readiness for broadband expansion and hopefully will encourage private providers to expand their services there, Dickison commented.

She stressed that broadband expansion is also a high priority of Wisconsin's Governor Scott Walker and the state legislature. The governor had held listening sessions in all 72 counties earlier this year and at all but one of them, broadband expansion had been identified as a high priority need. She said the state budget includes provisions for state grants that are available to help promote public-private partnerships to improve broadband access across the state.

Solway said the town's efforts for broadband expansion came as a response to requests from numerous property owners, business owners and Lake Associations, who told them lots of people would like to "live up there, vacation up there, and work from up there," but need high speed connectivity to do it.

"I firmly believe that technology is going to grow and grow, and without it, we aren't going to succeed," Solway declared. "The town is willing to put some effort into this."

Marinette county Administrator LeFebvre said a couple of things were identified as goals during the County Board visioning sessions this year, but the item that ranked highest was broadband connectivity. He said he and his recently appointed County Broadband Committee have been looking at maps on the WPSC website that show where there is and is not high speed internet service. He plans to distribute those maps at the Wisconsin Towns Association meeting on Thursday, Dec. 14 to gain more information on areas where broadband is most needed. He said with the county GIS information they can determine where population is highest within the underserved areas and start there to promote expansion.

"We hope the providers will sit down with us and let us know what's available," he declared. He expressed hope the county will be ready to apply for a state and/or federal grant in the next grant cycle. He said getting reliable high speed internet service to all parts of Marinette County is difficult, because geographically it is the third largest county in the state and includes vast tracts of County Forest Land, where there are no residents.

However, he added,"We think it (Internet connectivity) is very important for economic growth, and we believe broadband is very important for that."

Dickinson saluted both the county and the town for their efforts. She said the recently passed state budget includes $35.5 million for broadband expansion, which is important not only for economic growth but also for education.

Among grants available are those through the TEACH program and the Department of Administration to provide infrastructure for schools and training for teachers. There is a goal to have WIFII service available on school busses so students can do their homework while traveling to and from school.

"Broadband expansion is absolutely a priority of the governor," Dickison repeated,"And the Broadband Forward program is a step in that direction."

She said on the national level, broadband was second on a list of goals identified.

The next state grant application cycle, with a deadline of Jan. 5, will award $7.5 million in broadband grant awards. Applications are due by June of 2018 for the next cycle, which will award another $7.5 million. In addition, the state has marked $2 million for on-going broadband grant funding, Dickison said, and thanked the Legislature for doing that.

She then presented Solway with the unexpected proclamation by Gov. Walker declaring Town of Stephenson as an officially certified Wisconsin "Broadband Forward!" Community. She said it is her goal to bring BroadbandForward to every part of the state, and encourage private providers to expand in areas that are certified ready for them.

"We certainly want to put the carpet out for private investors," Solway declared.

State Rep. Jeff Mursau recalled discussions with the Town of Dunbar not long ago because the seem to be "in a hole," where it was really hard for them to get internet or cell phone service. He felt they could particularly benefit from broadband connectivity.

Mursau asked if there was anything eye catching that should be put on grant applications. Dickison said the decision makers look at several major factors, including public/private partnerships, impact on the community (the number of folks to be served), ability of students to access education and older residents to access health care, and impact on economic growth.

She invited anyone preparing an application to call her office for assistance and advice.

As to Packerland and CenturyLink, who had representatives at the meeting, "Both companies in this room have done a fantastic job," Dickison declared. She said to her, public/private partnerships show that the community is invested. She suggested, however, that letters of support from local businesses, government entities and educators "are what sell the project."

Mursau asked if it is the responsibility of the towns to find out where a project will work, and was told the towns should do some of the footwork.

CenturyLink Senior Engineer Peter Johnson, Sr. said his company already knows where the weak spots and the strong spots are in the Town of Stephenson, for example, "but it's really up to the town to decide what they want next... how to develop it in the direction they want it to grow."

Purdun said the grant program and the public/private partnership work very well together.

"A grant gives us the push to go forward, to make it financially feasible, because we have to make a profit," he said.

LeFebvre said there are many ways the government entities and the companies can work together, for example when the companies apply for permits the Highway Department has information on easements and other utility routes, but the private companies can give information on areas served.

Purdun described some grant projects his company has worked with in other parts of Wisconsin and spoke briefly of the Connect America Fund (known as CAF) from which one exchange in Marinette County will get funding next year.

"We've already started putting fiber in parts of Marinette, the Town of Peshtigo, Town of Grover and City of Peshtigo that will be turned on next spring or early next summer.

CenturyLink put fiber into the Peshtigo Industrial Park the previous year, Johnson said.

"Broadband grants (from the state) fill in very well where CAF funds don't reach," Purdun commented.

Dickison agreed the state helps the companies get into areas they might not serve otherwise, but once there they run the service with no more expense to the state.

Dickison assured LeFebvre the data on the WPSC web site is all from the FCC and is regularly updated,so the maps his committee has been downloading for distribution to the towns is accurate.

Geisler asked how the state's "Forward" certification compares with the resolution favoring broadband expansion that County Board passed in 2007.

Dickison said Broadband Forward actually is an ordinance that is passed that simplifies the grant process and remove other pieces of red tape. Resolutions, like the ones the counties passed in 2007, "are more of a - yes, come," while the ordinance is a guarantee."

Anderson wondered what population density would be needed to make it work. He was told that can vary. Cost ranges from $25,000 to $32,000 per mile of fiber, but cost of installation in the Crivitz/Twin Bridge area will be high because much of it will need to go through rock, "which is extremely expensive - over $50,000 a mile."

Mursau asked how many customers it would take to make it work. Johnson felt that depends on how much they need to invest versus the number of customers they can get. He added for the first three or four years they barely get paid back the cost of the infrastructure. Purdun felt with 100 to 125 customers they would start to get payback in five to seven years."""If we waited for 125 customers, no one in rural areas would ever get service," Johnson declared. He said if a business wants high speed internet and are willing to pay for it, "everyone along the way benefits," because it becomes available to them too.

Kuhn said her company faces challenges similar to those described by the CenturyLink representatives, and said they also do plan to seek a few grants.

"Planning for technology infrastructure is exactly what I would recommend for all communities," Dickison advised in the wake of discussion on coming improvements in wireless service and how that might affect investments in broadband.

She said First Net wireless service is now used for first responders' connectivity, "so there is potential on the horizon for additional mobile connectivity as well."

Just about everyone predicted there will be technology changes in coming years that cannot even be foreseen now.

Solway asked the Packerland and CenturyLink representatives to meet with him and the county and/or town representatives on forming a public/private partnership, and was assured they are very interested.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
01-17-2018Obituaries
Russell T. Bauer

01-17-2018Obituaries
Dominik Berger

01-17-2018Obituaries
Zachary S. Cleveland

01-17-2018Obituaries
John A. Francour Jr.

01-17-2018Obituaries
Francis J. French

01-17-2018Obituaries
Carolyn L. Geniesse

01-17-2018Obituaries
Dorothy J. Gremmer

01-17-2018Obituaries
Robert L. Hinkens

01-17-2018Obituaries
Lawrence C. Joslin

01-17-2018Obituaries
Mark W. Koeppler

01-17-2018Obituaries
Anita M. Lardinois

01-17-2018Obituaries
Daniel K. Lea Jr.

01-17-2018Obituaries
Donna Lee Lehman

01-17-2018Obituaries
Donald Lewis

01-17-2018Obituaries
Garrett D. Peterson

01-17-2018Obituaries
Melvin E. Price

01-17-2018Obituaries
Maryln Virgili-Poltrock-Schmitz

01-17-2018Obituaries
Maxine D. Seefeldt

01-17-2018Obituaries
Dorothy A. Stodola

01-17-2018Obituaries
John W. Tiede

01-17-2018Obituaries
Dr. Terry J. Watermolen

01-17-2018Obituaries
Linda M. Wolf

01-17-2018Sports
White Potato Lake Fishing Derby Jan. 20

01-17-2018Sports
Marinette Claims Peshtigo Invite Title; Coleman Takes 3rd at Cutler Classic

01-17-2018Sports
Blue Devils Burn Bulldogs in Rematch

01-17-2018Sports
Suring/Marinette Stay On Top; Peshtigo Win Streak At Seven

01-17-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

01-17-2018Perspectives
From Our Readers

01-17-2018Perspectives
From My Window

01-17-2018Community - Wausaukee
Town of Wausaukee Hears School, Broadband Reports

01-17-2018Community - Wausaukee
Lions Brat Fry, Meat Raffle January 20th

01-17-2018Community - Wausaukee
Town Misses Chance For Land Purchase

01-17-2018Community - Crivitz
At the Middle Inlet Town Board meeting on Thursday, Jan. 11, Town Chair Richard Wade reported on winter road maintenance and expressed a "Thank You" to the Marinette County Highway Department for allowing access to their sand/salt mixture as needed. He re

01-17-2018Community - Crivitz
Middle Inlet Gets, Gives Snowplowing Compliments

01-17-2018Community - Crivitz
Craft-O-Rama Set for Feb. 10

01-17-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Board Meeting Rescheduled

01-17-2018Community - Coleman
Joint Coleman Pound Municipal Court Activity

01-17-2018Community - Coleman
Bon Jovi Tribute Band, Bad Medicine At Equity

01-17-2018Community - Coleman
KC Free Throw Contest Jan. 26

01-17-2018Front Page
Rainbow House Receives Donation

01-17-2018Front Page
Peshtigo School Board Again To Seek New School Funding

01-17-2018Front Page
Town of Peshtigo Has Surplus For 2017

01-17-2018Front Page
Public Hearing Jan. 23 On Back 40 Mine Permit

01-17-2018Front Page
Coleman School District Voters To Decide Two Referendum Questions

01-17-2018Front Page
Marinette Seeks Assistant City Recreation Director

01-10-2018Obituaries
Arletta K. Babl

01-10-2018Obituaries
Eugene A. Bohm

01-10-2018Obituaries
Kathleen A. Conklin

01-10-2018Obituaries
Mona J. Cournoyer

01-10-2018Obituaries
Ronald Delaruelle

01-10-2018Obituaries
Robert J. Deau Sr.

01-10-2018Obituaries
Robert De Rousha

01-10-2018Obituaries
Marla Devroy

01-10-2018Obituaries
Louis E. Giese

01-10-2018Obituaries
Rosalyn Gilles

01-10-2018Obituaries
Gertrude Gonwa

01-10-2018Obituaries
William R. Kohrt

01-10-2018Obituaries
Kenneth E. Lund

01-10-2018Obituaries
Gerald R. Peterson

01-10-2018Obituaries
Janet M. Piaro

01-10-2018Obituaries
Gerald E. Richardson

01-10-2018Obituaries
Miles J. Rudolph

01-10-2018Obituaries
Glenn C. Schrank

01-10-2018Obituaries
LeRoy M. Staidl

01-10-2018Obituaries
Leslie A. Suring

01-10-2018Obituaries
Paul H. Stibbe

01-10-2018Obituaries
Wallace E. Utter

01-10-2018Obituaries
Etheljean Valitchka

01-10-2018Obituaries
Jeffrey C. Valley 

01-10-2018Obituaries
Frank Waller

01-10-2018Obituaries
Dorothy V. Wells-Boye

01-10-2018Obituaries
Rev. Kenneth W. West

01-10-2018Obituaries
Sharon M. Zima

01-10-2018Sports
M&M Thunder Extend Win Streak to 14 Games

01-10-2018Sports
Peshtigo & Kewaunee Clash Thursday for Packerland Lead

01-10-2018Sports
Crivitz Maintains One Game Lead In M&O

01-10-2018Sports
Marines Stay In NEC Hunt, Top Tigers 64-62

01-10-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

01-10-2018Perspectives
From our readers

01-10-2018Perspectives
From My Window

01-10-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Business Assn. To Hold Winterfest Feb. 3

01-10-2018Community - Wausaukee
Town of Beecher To Meet Feb. 13

01-10-2018Community - Wausaukee
Lions Brat Fry, Meat Raffle Jan. 20

01-10-2018Community - Wausaukee
Legion Auxiliary, Silver Cliff to Offer $1,000 Scholarships

01-10-2018Community - Crivitz
Valentine Dance at Crivitz Feb. 10

01-10-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion Meets Jan. 17

01-10-2018Community - Crivitz
CAWC To Meet At Woody's Jan. 18

01-10-2018Community - Crivitz
Middle Inlet Town Board Meets Jan. 11

01-10-2018Community - Coleman
North Kickers Dance Jan. 27

01-10-2018Community - Coleman
White Potato Lake Fishing Derby Jan. 20

01-10-2018Community - Coleman
Lego Club To Meet at Library

01-10-2018Front Page
Gov. Walker Visits Coleman To Support School Aid Increases

01-10-2018Front Page
Town of Stephenson Votes To Withdraw From Recycling

01-10-2018Front Page
DA Clears Officers In Dec. 7 Shooting Death

01-10-2018Front Page
Niagara Firefighters Find Missing Man Dead in Woods

01-10-2018Front Page
Coleman School Board Gives Nod To April 3 Referendum

01-03-2018Obituaries
Violet Barrette

01-03-2018Obituaries
Colonel Gerald R. Beekman

01-03-2018Obituaries
Rodney G. Benson

01-03-2018Obituaries
Maryon L. Boren

01-03-2018Obituaries
Robert A. Brooks

01-03-2018Obituaries
Robert F. Brown, Jr.

01-03-2018Obituaries
Kenneth W. Engebretsen

01-03-2018Obituaries
Mildred H. Hruska

01-03-2018Obituaries
Yvonne M. Johnson

01-03-2018Obituaries
Marion Kama

01-03-2018Obituaries
Richard R. Kaminski

01-03-2018Obituaries
Clyde Larson

01-03-2018Obituaries
Joette M. Mathey

01-03-2018Obituaries
Richard H. Mazur

01-03-2018Obituaries
Richard E. Miller

01-03-2018Obituaries
Jordan Olson

01-03-2018Obituaries
Joseph R. Pairon

01-03-2018Obituaries
Milton G. Parins

01-03-2018Obituaries
Gloria M. Peetz

01-03-2018Obituaries
Frederick W. Pelon

01-03-2018Obituaries
Janet Piaro

01-03-2018Obituaries
Emmy D. Quirt

01-03-2018Obituaries
Kenneth R. Reichardt

01-03-2018Obituaries
Betty A. Rice

01-03-2018Obituaries
Joseph H. "Joe" Scheidt Jr.

01-03-2018Obituaries
Sally L. Schmidt

01-03-2018Obituaries
Mick Strandt

01-03-2018Obituaries
Deloris F. VanLaarhoven

01-03-2018Obituaries
John G. Van Boxtel, Sr.

01-03-2018Obituaries
Herman W. Wasmund, Jr.

01-03-2018Obituaries
Richard W. Wentz

01-03-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

01-03-2018Perspectives
From My Window

01-03-2018Sports
Bald Eagle Watching Events in January

01-03-2018Sports
Coleman Wrestlers Claim Runner-Up Spot in Oshkosh

01-03-2018Sports
Bulldogs Hold Off Mustangs

01-03-2018Sports
Area Teams See Full Slate of Non-Conference Action

01-03-2018Community - Crivitz
15 at Even Monday Cards

01-03-2018Community - Crivitz
Podiatry Class at Northwoods Lodge

01-03-2018Community - Coleman
Lion's Host 11th Annual Baenen Ice Fishing Banquet

01-03-2018Community - Coleman
Windows 10 Class at Coleman Library

01-03-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Utility Meeting Jan. 8

01-03-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board to Consider Resolutions

01-03-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Packer Fan Nominee for Hall Fame

01-03-2018Community - Wausaukee
Busick To Be Honored For 20 Years On Board

01-03-2018Community - Wausaukee
Legion Post 66 To Meet Jan. 6

01-03-2018Community - Wausaukee
Red Matriarchs at Wausaukee Bowl

01-03-2018Front Page
Little Competition On Ballot For Offices In April Elections

01-03-2018Front Page
Koronkiewicz Will Retire As City Clerk/Treasurer May 18

01-03-2018Front Page
Wausaukee Has Problems With Sewage, Not Water

01-03-2018Front Page
Peshtigo Citizens Building Committee Favors New School

01-03-2018Front Page
Public Hearing Jan. 23 On Back 40 Mine Permit

12-27-2017Sports
UW Wisconsin Alumnus Makes Football Great

12-27-2017Sports
Area Matmen See Limited Action Heading Into Break


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Should President Trump cut back on the amount of tweets he makes?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2018
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites