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30,000 homes and businesses across Eau Claire may be next in line for fiber internet technology

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 8:57 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -Today, getting information and getting it fast is a huge priority for most people.

In the coming years, those in Eau Claire will likely have another method for how you get phone service, internet connection, and how WEAU gets onto your screen!

Currently, there are four ways to get internet connection; DSL, cable, satellite, and fiber. Eau Claire, somewhat, has access to all four. However according to TDS Telecom’s, Drew Petersen, a very small percentage of people in the city have access to the quickest and most reliable signal.

“There is very little fiber in Eau Claire today which is what makes it so attractive and appealing to us. When we start, we will blanket the entire municipality of Eau Claire with fiber optic services,” Petersen said.

Fiber optics are strands of fiberglass, bundled together, which have the ability of bringing the fastest internet speeds in the country, at one gig.

TDS, headquartered in Madison, is getting closer and closer to bringing this technology to more than 30,000 homes and businesses across Eau Claire.

“Our focus is covering as much of Eau Claire as economically possible, so we are going to cover the nooks and crannies because everybody deserves that access to fiber speeds,” said Petersen.

It’s an extensive and complex process where roughly 300 miles of fiber optic cable will be installed underground.

“That 300 miles of fiber optics runs down every major thoroughfare every subdivision street from the street to the customers home,” Petersen said.

The price tag, at $30-million of private sector capitol, they say, is the cost of technology progress.

Eau Claire City Council Vice-President Catherine Emmanuelle, says currently, she does not see a downside to this new addition.

“Including and expanding our internet connectivity will be a win, win for our entire community ... it’s going to be an important component in our community’s future,” said Emmanuelle.

Dependent on next week’s City Council legislative session, construction would begin later this fall, really ramping up in the spring of 2022.

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