Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) understands the impact that internet connectivity has on our local economy. Effective and affordable broadband access increases the growth potential of our local businesses by helping them access new markets. It is necessary for any precision agriculture operation. It is a catalyst for rural prosperity by connecting rural households, schools, and healthcare with each other. It also is a “must” if small communities are to attract new residents and talent.

Today, one thing that was made abundantly clear by the 2020-21 pandemic is that it is even more necessary has because of the huge increase in demand for high-speed internet within the Chippewa Valley as businesses, education, healthcare, and workers transitioned to online services. Over the past several years CCEDC has worked with our local Telecom providers in supporting their use of federal, state and community funds to ensure Chippewa County is well positioned to leverage our existing broadband network for economic development. Bloomer Telephone, Citizens Connected, Mosaic Technologies, and 24-7 & West Wisconsin Telcom have done an outstanding job in collaborating with each other and with economic development stakeholders and community leaders in continuing to expand their broadband services throughout the region.

As Chippewa County adjusts to the new normal of increased working at home, more education and entertainment consumption from home, CCEDC saw the need to host a “reliable broadband” update meeting between Chippewa County leadership and the areas telecom providers. Topics of the meeting were centered around current efforts to expand connectivity within Chippewa County using any potential federal resources. An update on current activities and projects that focused on increasing access to online learning, efforts to support telehealth and public safety services, deploying more public Wi-Fi access points, and investing in residential broadband infrastructure, especially in the eastern rural and underserved areas of the county.