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Rural broadband coming

Rural Wisconsinites will receive broadband internet capacities thanks to a new partnership with Packerland Broadband and Microsoft.

Packerland Broadband and Microsoft Corp. announced a partnership in late February to provide broadband internet access to 82,000 people living in the rural regions of northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

In the statement, Packerland intends to use technologies to provide broadband to rural customers, including “TV White Spaces” and WiFi hardware developed with Microsoft. The company said it anticipates to impact nearly 34,000 people by the end of 2019 and 82,000 people by 2022.

It is unclear how this announcement will impact Chippewa County.

The February announcement stated this partnership is part of Microsoft’s TechSpark Wisconsin program, which includes the Rural Airband Initiative. President of Microsoft, Brad Smith, said this initiative has a goal of making broadband internet a reality for two million people by 2022.

Packerland did not respond to a request to comment by The Herald’s press time.


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