Admittedly, I am not a history buff. In fact, a recent trip to Madison to visit with legislators made it abundantly clear that I should have payed more attention in my History and Civics classes in high school. But that story will have to wait for another article.
Do you realize that it was 1882 when the first homes in the US had electricity? A full 45 years later in 1927, only half of the homes in the US were wired for electricity. In comparison, the first broadband was available in the year 2000. And by 2007 half of all internet users possessed a broadband connection. Broadband internet access is the modern-day equivalent to electricity, telephone, and water/sewer services.
All of our local Polk County internet providers have stepped up to expand networks throughout the county. And they are doing it with relative lightning speed in comparison to 1927. It’s a big investment of time and resources. It involves many steps including applying for grants, getting legal approvals and working in close collaboration with both government and businesses. But the payoff for our local economy and community is tremendous.
Polk County has achieved both the Broadband and Telecommuter Forward designation from the state of Wisconsin. These designations are important to the people living and working here, but also to those looking to move their family, or start a business here. Over 75% of the county has access to 25 mbps or higher service. This can be as much of a deciding factor for families and business these days as the availability of other essential utilities. Great job Polk County!
As our communities and businesses continue to invest in fiber and other broadband resources, Polk County becomes even more attractive for individuals, families, educational facilities and businesses that are looking to leave the high-cost and congested metropolitan areas for the life-style, beauty, educational and career opportunities Polk County has to offer.