Wisconsin business leaders join effort to promote expanded broadband for rural communities

Contact: Allison Kubacki

Phone: 920-360-7696

Email: [email protected]

Delegation Will Speak With Congressional Leaders in October Visit to Washington, D.C.

The President of the Wisconsin Technology Council will be joined by Door County’s Economic Development Manager and the president of Dairy Interactive, LLC and Language Links, LLC on an upcoming visit to Washington, D.C. to discuss the benefits of expanding access to high speed broadband into rural areas of the state.

Tom Still, of the Wisconsin Technology Council, advises the Legislature and Governor Scott Walker on issues related to science and technology; Sam Perlman, of the Door County Economic Development Corporation, is also Past-President of the Northeast Wisconsin Regional Economic Partnership and a member of the Wisconsin Public Service Commission Region 5 Broadband Planning Team. Tom Wall is the President of Dairy Interactive, LLC and Language Links, LLC, which specialize in employee management consulting and employee training throughout the dairy industry, both on-site and online.

These three Wisconsinites will join members of a nationwide collaboration of chambers of commerce, teachers, farmers and small business owners. The coalition has organized a visit to Capitol Hill on October 3-4, 2011to discuss how bringing broadband to rural sections of Wisconsin will create jobs while also improving education, health care and quality of life for its residents.

President Obama has set a national goal of universal broadband deployment by 2016, but so far, there is no national plan to expand broadband to reach the 30 percent of Americans who cannot access broadband—the vast majority of whom live in rural America.

Smartphones connected to mobile broadband networks are quickly becoming the web access tool of choice for young Americans and families of limited means. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, nine out of ten smartphone users access the internet and check email every day on their device. Pew also reported smartphones are replacing home computers for many minority and low-income users.

“Broadband access outside Wisconsin’s metropolitan areas is not yet sufficient to support greater entrepreneurial activity and better support existing industries,” said Still. “We will urge our leaders in Washington to support programs that promote expanded access of broadband where it’s needed most.”

This fly-in coalition unites a variety of organizations and individuals who share a common goal: bringing increased access to high-speed Internet to more Americans across the nation, particularly in rural communities. A collaboration of local Chambers of Commerce, members of the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, the National Grange, teachers, farmers, ranchers, small business owners, and others will be in Washington, D.C. on October 4, 2011 to deliver the message that increasing access to high-speed Internet is a critical component of creating jobs, improving health care, providing higher education, and ensuring a prosperous future for rural America and rural Americans.