The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW) is asking residents statewide to provide feedback on their experience with broadband service in Wisconsin. PSCW has created a short survey to try and understand the overall quality of service in Wisconsin.
The survey, located at http://psc.wi.gov/broadbandSurvey.htm, takes about 5 minutes to complete. Households that do not have home access to the Internet can take the survey by phone (877-360-2973).
The survey is open through December 31, 2016.
PSCW is encouraging households without broadband service to complete the survey by phone so that state officials can understand which areas still lack access either because of affordability or because of gaps in coverage.
Northern Wisconsin and rural areas throughout the state are pushing for improvements to broadband service. Several localities within Wisconsin are still without a local service provider. Earlier this month, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on a new model being used in Vilas County to blanket the largely rural county with internet access. The Vilas County Economic Development Corp. worked with several broadband providers including Frontier Communications on the plan which will have 90 percent of the county covered within three years. County officials say that the model could be copied by other rural parts of the state in order to expand access.
Wisconsin has taken a significant amount of funding from the federal government’s Connect America program to provide broadband service statewide. The program is administered by the FCC and will provide federal funding to states for broadband through 2020. The funding is meant to entice private providers to install broadband networks in areas where it may not be economic to do so because of the low number of possible subscribers.
Frontier and CenturyLink have benefitted significantly from Connect America funds that were awarded to Wisconsin. According to the Journal Sentinel, Frontier will get $186 million and CenturyLink will get $330 million to provide broadband services.