A Northwoods high speed internet and telephone provider is getting nearly a quarter-million dollars to expand high speed internet service toward Land O' Lakes and other communities.
ChoiceTel of Eagle River picked up a broadband expansion grant from the state, as part of a $1.5 million broadband expansion grant. The ChoiceTel grant is for just over $249,000.
ChoiceTel owner Ted Bogeman says this will extend the current high speed service about 18 more miles....
"....it's the same old story that nobody can get reliable high-speed internet at an affordable cost and with the projects we've done in the past and with this project we're going to be getting fiber-based land lines right to consumers houses or businesses. I'm real happy with the state, this is the third year they have done it. The first year we got two grants and we just finished it. Now we have the third one. It's a really big help to a small business like us...."
Bogeman says the grant will expand the company as they will be adding another crew during the duration of the grant to do the installation. He says the line will head toward Conover and then to downtown Land O' Lakes. Bogeman says it will likely take about a year to expand the service beginning next spring. ChoiceTel has had other successful broadband grant awards. Bogeman says it helps a small business to compete against the larger companies and provide service.