Rural communities in the Chippewa Valley will have access to higher Internet speeds

Spectrum utility workers wrapping up work on fiber optic cables in the Town of Seymour
Spectrum utility workers wrapping up work on fiber optic cables in the Town of Seymour(Daniel Gomez)
Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 6:26 PM CDT
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VILLAGE OF FALL CREEK, Wis. (WEAU) - Rural communities in the Chippewa Valley will have additional access to a much need resource.

Spectrum is expanding service to communities that include the Town of Seymour and the Village of Fall Creek.

“It’s going to be a big time matter. If you want to look something up right now instead of waiting,” said Don Button.

He lives in the Town of Seymour and was fixing up his front lawn after utility work to lay the fiber optic cables wrapped up recently.

Button and his family have been relying on satellite Internet, which he says produces slow Internet speeds to his family’s home.

“Every time we want to go online, some days we can’t go online and I don’t know, it just sucks,” said Button.

Spectrum has been working on the expansion into these rural communities for over a year.

“We got off to a strong start in this part of the state. We’ve we’ve built to over 1100 homes so far and counting and plan to wrap up this year,” said Matt Brown who serves as the Vice President of Construction for Spectrum.

State Representative Rob Summerfield (R-Bloomer) says he was glad to have worked with the company to make it possible to get Internet out to the Rural communities.

“The big thing is part partnering with industry leaders... and it does take, you know, some collaborations between communities,” said Summerfield.

And all this comes as TDS, another Internet provider, is expanding into the Chippewa Valley soon.

“We’re very excited about Chippewa Valley and the kind of investments that we’re making to bring you know, 2-Gig Fiber Internet to those customers. This will be a two to three year build. And by the end of 2022, we should have about 3000 customers launched in Eau Claire and about 2000 in Chippewa Falls,” said Drew Petersen, Vice President of Corporate Affairs at TDS.

In the meantime, working mothers like Becca Coleman hopes to enjoy some relief from slow Internet speeds.

“It’s a big deal. I can’t wait to get some reliable Internet to our house and our neighbors are excited for it to help our property values out where we live,” said Coleman.

And State Rep. Summerfield says bridging the digital divide can potentially attract more people to move to these rural communities.

“I think we have a great potential to have people come to Wisconsin, move from the Twin Cities or Illinois or wherever they come from and say, hey, I can work from home because a lot of companies have been shifting to it,” said Summerfield.

He says the invest of over $1Billion is worth it to help continue building rural communities up.