Monday, April 27, 2009

1,000,000+ Without High-Speed Internet Access in Wisconsin

Unless they visit their local public library.

Link to April 26 Wisconsin State Journal article, "Rural residents without high-speed Internet struggle to keep up".

Excerpt: Doug King publishes his keyboard music online and his wife, Marjorie, sells home-made pottery to customers in Iceland, China and New Zealand. But doing business from their rural Dane County house is virtually impossible without high-speed Internet.

"We got to the point where we’re simply unable to do business" using the dial-up Internet their phone company provides, King said. The couple finally signed up for a wireless modem from Verizon, which in the last year has sought to build nine cell towers in rural Dane County to keep up with growing demand.

But wireless service isn’t available everywhere, either, leaving thousands of rural Wisconsin homeowners, entrepreneurs and farmers still clamoring for high-speed Internet service.

Bill Esbeck, president of the Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association, misses the point when he notes that Wisconsin telephones companies provide high-speed Internet access to 81% of the state.

Let's do the math. 5,600,000 Wisconsin residents X .19 without high-speed Internet access = 1,064,000. It may be 1% below the national average but that doesn't make it good.

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