Oneida Co. group works to broaden internet access - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Oneida Co. group works to broaden internet access

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ONEIDA COUNTY, Wis. (WAOW) -

As Wisconsin lawmakers push for more funding to broaden internet access, a group from Oneida County is already working to provide more residents with service.

The group of around 10 people is using money from a state grant to build several towers throughout the county.

“Oneida County is definitely in the lead in the state in addressing this issue,” Harshaw resident Phil Hejtmanek said. “The amount of the award was about $180,000 from the state. It involved five or six tower projects.”

The towers will hold a wireless technology called fixed broadband internet.

“A device on top of the tower that's usually 200 feet up,” he said. “You're essentially broadcasting to the subscriber.”

As part of the project, Hejtmanek, has started a corporation with the goal of building two towers in his area.

“Instead of putting up money we're using the money to build the tower,” Hejtmanek said. “So now the county or the township doesn't have to build it and the funding from the state will go to fund the equipment to put on the tower.”

Hejtmanek hopes to have one of his towers completed by spring. The group just recently finished a tower in the Town of Newbold that Hejtmanek said should be up and working soon.

The group is also considering constructing even more towers in the future, hoping to give everyone in the county broadband access.

Several Wisconsin lawmakers recently introduced a bill that would allocate more than $15 million in grants to expand broadband access.

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