The Wisconsin Public Service Commission has awarded a $200,000 Broadband Grant to Eau Claire County in partnership with Packerland Broadband. Announced last month by Governor Walker, it will help provide service in unserved and underserved areas in eastern Eau Claire County through TV white space technology. The grants are part of a statewide program to improve internet availability to rural communities.
This project will install LTE and TV WhiteSpace fixed wireless equipment on 6 Eau Claire County and 3 Chippewa County towers, and build two towers (1 in Eau Claire County and 1 in Chippewa County). As a public private partnership, the grant leverages matching funds to complete the installation that has a total cost of $550,000.
Eau Claire Chamber President & CEO Dave Minor wrote the PSC in January supporting the county's application. The letter pointed out that the grant to expand broadband access will help drive economic and workforce development, serve as a catalyst for rural development and job creation, support innovation and help improve government services for fire and EMS. "The project is an example of public-private collaboration that will serve consumers and businesses, and for local government to better serve citizens," the letter concluded.
More information: Governor Walker Awards Broadband Grants (Office of the Governor), Governor Walker announces broadband grant for rural Eau Claire County (WEAU TV 13 News)
Posted by: Scott Rogers, Governmental Affairs & Workforce Director