Western Wisconsin getting $81.6 million in rural broadband aid

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Wisconsin (WQOW) – There is a big boost on the way for getting people in rural Wisconsin connected to the internet.

Thursday, the FCC approved $163 million for rural broadband aid to Wisconsin communities over the next 10 years. Locally, more than $81 million of it will be used in western Wisconsin.

Wisconsin ranks toward the bottom of internet-connected states. Close to 1/5 of the state has limited or no access to high-speed internet. The FCC said the new funding would bring broadband to more than 21,000 new locations.

Tri-County Communications Cooperative, which serves Eau Claire, Buffalo, Jackson and Trempealeau counties will receive more than $32 million, ($32,132,785).

Rural Communications Holding, serving Barron, Pierce, Rusk and Sawyer counties will get more than $30 million, ($30,335,435).

Baldwin Telecom, which covers parts of St. Croix and Pierce counties will get more than $10 million, ($10,276,693).

The Bloomer Telephone Company, which provides broadband to parts of Chippewa and Dunn counties will receive nearly $9 million, ($8,879,370).

Nationwide, $4.9 billion is scheduled to be paid out over the next decade.

Stephen Kelley

Stephen Kelley

Stephen Kelley joined the News 18 team in August 2006. He is currently the Executive Producer and an Evening Anchor.

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