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La Crosse County urged to seek funding for broadband expansion

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State leaders in Wisconsin would like everybody to have access to broadband service for the internet, but not everyone can get it.

Nearly 400 households in the county and roughly 14 businesses do not have broadband, according to Charlotte Peters with UW-Extension in La Crosse County.

Peters said the county could upgrade that service with more funding from Madison. That, however, might require forming a study committee that would involve people “from business leaders on down to the community member level, and then address those situations as we can, looking at funding through grants and through other resources.”

According to Peters, many county families could take advantage of broadband but do not. She said about 5,300 La Crosse County homes choose not to connect to the internet — the majority being residents 65 or older.

Peters added that several other Wisconsin counties are in the same situation, trying to obtain funding.

“There are a lot of counties that are struggling to catch up,” she said, while some began preparing for broadband expansion four to five years ago.

Peters noted that La Crosse County is considered a rural area, when it comes to getting broadband access.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has set a goal of providing broadband to every home in Wisconsin by 2025.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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