It’s been about two years since the people of Lincoln County, Wisconsin, learned that Frontier Communications received federal funding to expand Internet access in their region. Now, they’re wondering why Frontier has still not started construction of promised infrastructure.
A Long Road To Nowhere
The community has been seeking ways to improve local connectivity for years. Back in 2013, they held a series of local listening sessions and workshops with officials from the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community Technology Solutions. The goals of the workshops were to educate community members about the importance of connectivity and to learn more about the availability of Internet access at the local level. The meetings addressed both residential and business needs.
In the summer of 2015, county officials announced that they had been working on an initiative to find a way to improve connectivity throughout Lincoln County. By engaging members of the public in town hall forums they had learned that the general consensus was:
“For the most part, people are disappointed with their current service.”
“Generally speaking, their current Internet service is not fast enough and there just isn’t enough capacity to do what they want to do.”
Community leaders were also learning that a fair number of home-based businesses were popping up in the county.
As part of their initiative, the board had worked with the UW Extension Office, County Economic Development Corporation and County Information Technology Department. They also passed a resolution stating that they would do everything they could to expand broadband to every resident in the county. County officials began having meetings to develop a plan to meet their goal. Shortly after, they learned that Frontier had accepted Connect America Funding Phase II (CAF II), federal funding designed specifically to... Read more