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Massive Public Spending Still Hasn't Solved The Rural Internet Access Problem

By Rick Barrett and Kelli Arseneau, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Published 7:03 AM EDT Jul. 14, 2021 Updated 2:25 PM EDT Aug. 11, 2021

Six years ago, Jeff Hallstrand's home in Price County appeared close to finally receiving a much-needed boost in internet service.

The federal government had announced that more than 129,000 homes and small businesses across rural Wisconsin were eligible for an upgrade under a $330 million grant awarded to broadband provider CenturyLink.

Hallstrand, a county supervisor, had worked for 30 years for CenturyLink and another internet company before branching out to start his own engineering business. But at his home in the Town of Ogema, he had speeds not much better than a dial-up modem from the 1990s.

The map of locations eligible for improved service showed that he might finally get on the right side of the digital divide.

Today, nothing has changed. The grant left it up to CenturyLink to pick which locations to upgrade, and Hallstrand got nothing. (Read more here)

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