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Boulder Junction Urges Signups as Major Broadband Project Deadline Nears

Not long from now, Boulder Junction will have the same internet speeds as a large urban area.

The town is kicking off a $3.6 million fiberoptic broadband project, and it hopes as many people as possible sign up for installation eligibility.

The initiative got started with a survey in 2017.

“One of the primary questions was, ‘what is a challenge to economic growth?’ The number one answer, by far, was the lack of broadband. That really was a springboard,” said Bill Niemuth, the vice chair of the Boulder Junction High Speed Broadband Committee.

Next month, CenturyLink will start a project to offer broadband to major parts of the town.

“We’ve been really busy. We’re about ready to start on a project with CenturyLink to bring high-speed broadband to 745 homes and businesses. That’s about 55 percent of all of the living units here,” Niemuth said.

Boulder Junction got a $1.6 million dollar grant from the Public Service Commission, and the town kicked in $1.5 million.

Niemuth expects major results for the rural town.

“When we get this in place, we’ll have about the same speeds as a large city, which is pretty amazing, considering where we are in northern Wisconsin.”

About 70 percent of property-owners in the town have signed up to become eligible for installation.

Niemuth hopes the rest also sign up, which carries no financial commitment right now.

The deadline is Saturday.

Property-owners in the town can visit boulderbroadband.com or the Boulder Junction Public Library in person.

Ben worked as the Special Topics Correspondent at WXPR from September 2019 until November 2021. He now contributes occasionally to WXPR. During his full-time employment, his main focus was reporting on environment and natural resources issues in northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula as part of The Stream, a weekly series.
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