Broadband refers to the infrastructure that allows people, homes, and businesses to connect the internet. The Federal Government defines broadband as an internet connection with download speeds of 25MB/s and upload speeds of 3 MB/s. We define adequate broadband as “Service that is always on, uninterrupted, and has sufficient capacity to meet needs of all users.” In 2015, the White House issued the Broadband Opportunity Council Report and Recommendation which stated that broadband “has steadily shifted from an optional amenity to a core utility for households, businesses and community institutions. Today, broadband is taking its place alongside water, sewer and electricity as essential infrastructure for communities.” Completed and ongoing research support this fact. We have found evidence that broadband’s impacts include:
- Jobs and Income
- Business and Economics
- Home Values
- Public Services and Amenities
The UW Extension Community, Natural Resource and Economic Development Educator for St Croix County focuses on engaging interested stakeholders, providing education and awareness raising, and working with local governments to increase support for increased availability of broadband and to minimize barriers for achieving that.
UW Extension provides a range of services to help support increased availability, access, and utilization of broadband services in St. Croix County. These services include:
- Education for local governments, citizens, and providers
- Research and analysis on benefits and impacts of broadband
- Provide guidance on next steps for improving broadband
- Assist in pursuing funding opportunities for expanded broadband, including Wisconsin Broadband Expansion Groups
- Facilitate linking groups of interested stakeholders
Please contact the local CNRED Educator if you are interested in obtaining any of these services to help improve broadband access and availability in your area.
DOCUMENTS AND PRESENTATIONS
STUDIES, INFORMATION, AND DATA
UW Extension E-Commerce and Broadband Education Center: The have exceptional resources and expertise, plus a very informative newsletter to which you can subscribe.
Link Wisconsin: Wisconsin Public Service Commission: Maps on broadband coverage, expansion grant awardees, and funding; Broadband Assessment Tool; data on state of broadband.