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Minocqua Area To Get Wireless High Speed Internet

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After getting four competitive grant awards last year to expand higher-speed internet in the Northwoods, another grant will expand broadband service in the Minocqua area this fiscal year.

Dr. Tithi Chattopadhyay from the Public Service Commission says seven awards totaling a half-million dollars are being given out for the next fiscal year, including a $46,000 grant for Oneida county. That is the only broadband grant from the state for this region this year as part of the state's Broadband Expansion grant program.

Oneida County and Oneida County EDC, the towns of  Minoqua and  Hazelhurst, Ministry Health Care, Marshfield Clinic, Minoqua J1 School District, Lakeland Union High School, Grow North, and Northwoods synKro LLC are the grant applicants.

Dr. Chattopadhyay describes the Mincoqua award which is a public-private sector agreement...

".....they are proposing to install a WI-MAX facility on three wireless towers in Oneida county. The application said it had a large footprint and would reach over 2,000 households which is a huge number of households that they would reach...."

WI-MAX is a type of wireless broadband technology different than cable or DSL.
The nine partners will contribute matching funds of about $40,000. Oneida County Economic Development Corporation, will act as fiscal manager, synKro will operate the service.  
Residents in places like Rhinelander and Three Lakes have multiple options for higher-speed internet. But just a few miles away from those areas, residents either have no service or very slow internet speeds.

Tourist businesses have complained for years that the lack of broadband discourages customers from areas with broadband, who seek to vacation where they are also easily connected to the Internet.

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