Oneida County pushes broadband connectivity for citizens and businessSubmitted: 06/20/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter

Oneida County pushes broadband connectivity for citizens and business
RHINELANDER - Many people visit the Northwoods as a place to get away from cell phones, emails, and constant connection.

But people who live here need those options for home and business.

Development leaders say Oneida County is a poorly connected place in terms of technology.

Doing business or personal work through broadband IN the city of Rhinelander works pretty well.

Just about anywhere else in Oneida County, though, can be a struggle.

Having broadband is no longer just a nice perk for people who like technology or who live in the city.

"Internet access is like electricity. It's like getting water to your house. It's critical. They call it the information superhighway, but the internet really is as important as a road when it comes to doing business," says Oneida County Community Resource Development Agent Tim Brown.

Only a few areas have the top level of service in Oneida County.

That leaves smaller communities and rural areas lacking.

Development leaders want county and town governments to work to improve broadband.

But the government can't provide the service.

That would be illegal.

So instead, they need to convince providers to come here.

"There is demand here, that there is money to be made here, and we encourage you to invest in building more connections in our community," Brown says.

You can help the effort.

Follow the link below to take a survey on broadband needs in your area.

Related Weblinks:
Oneida County Broadband Survey

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ONEIDA COUNTY - Every second counts when it comes to saving a life. But in rural parts of Wisconsin, it can take paramedics up to 30 minutes to respond to an emergency.

A new bill in Wisconsin would require dispatchers to know how to explain verbally CPR over the phone.

When Sherri Congleton answers a 911, call she is often thrown into a life or death situation.

"You kind of form a bond with the person on the other side of the phone when you answer a call like that," said Congleton.

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WOODRUFF - A fire burned a house to the ground in Woodruff early Thursday morning.

Firefighters arrived around 1:30 a.m to the home on Mid Lake Road.  The house was already mostly gone by that time.

No one was in the home, and no one was hurt.  Crews stayed on scene and kept the road closed until about 4:30 a.m.

The Woodruff Fire Department ruled the cause of the fire undetermined.

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ARBOR VITAE - An Arbor Vitae restaurant may be relatively new to the area, but regulars quickly started packing the place every Friday for fish fry.

Ron and Marlena Schisel opened Outback 51 about a year ago.

They say it was tough being the "newbies" at first, but their fish fry got people in the door from the start.

Bluegill is the favorite plate at this fish fry.

" Surprisingly we sell more bluegill more than any other fish. It is a Northwood's native fish, people want to see if it takes the fish that they have when they clean fish," says Ron.

Outback 51 serves fish fry Fridays starting at 11 a.m.

Click link below for more info.

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MADISON - A new report shows Wisconsin's unemployment rate hit a record low in February.

The state Department of Workforce Development released data Thursday that shows the unemployment rate dipped to 2.9 percent in February, down 0.2 percent from January to mark a record low. The previous record was 3 percent unemployment in July 1999.

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OCONOMOWOC - Authorities say more than 70 people were treated at local hospitals after an air quality issue forced the evacuation of Oconomowoc High School and the adjacent Oconomowoc Arts Center.

Western Lakes Fire District Chief Brad Bowen says low carbon monoxide readings were detected on some of the first patients treated, but officials could not immediately find a cause or source.

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RHINELANDER - Golfers can't wait to get back on the course after our long, tiring winter.  We'll need to melt a lot more snow to make that happen, but on a Rhinelander-area lake this weekend, ice will be needed for golfing.

Fisher's Resort on Lake George will host the 13th-annual Ice Golf tournament Saturday.  Golfers shoot real golf balls on nine holes on the frozen lake.  The four-person scramble format costs $40 per team.

The event is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for the Hodag Sno-Trails snowmobile club.

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HARSHAW - Rhinelander charter school students mixed in math with science, social studies, and reading projects on Thursday.

Northwoods Community Elementary School hosted parents to show off their work. Some classes did the math to plot out a vegetable garden. Others did research on Wisconsin counties and planned a weeklong trip there.

"I added decimals to count up all my rates for my bills, all the admissions to state parks, and renting," explained Oceana Patulski, who did a project on Door County.

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