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NEWS STORIES

Oneida County Board passes broadband proposalSubmitted: 08/20/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray


Photos By Shardaa Gray

ONEIDA COUNTY - With 3G and 4G portable devices, you can get online just about everywhere, unless you have a weak signal.

One Oneida County board supervisor wants to make sure signals are strong across the county.

Today the county board passed a resolution to improve broadband internet access.

Now, the Oneida County Economic Development Corporation will review the current situation.

County Board Supervisor Bob Martini says some areas in Oneida County are below average in speed, adoption and capacity.

But not everyone was in favor of of having the government involved.

"Rhinelander is getting another 4G upgrade coming real soon. Not by an impotent government body, no. It's because they know there's a basis for it. There's a way to make some money at it, so they're doing it," said Oneida County Board Supervisor, Jerry Shidell.

"If I heard right I think Minocqua has the same thing becoming a reality. Let's let the free market do it first instead of the government all the time has to be involved. We don't need that."

Martini feels Oneida County residents can't rely on cell phone provider internet access because not all of the county gets good cell coverage.

"We want to make sure the private sector can take care of what they want to do," Martini said.

"Then look at all those areas that are not covered and see if there's anything we can do cooperatively to make sure we have coverage of all our citizens."

The Oneida County Economic Development Corporation will continue to meet every month to discuss how to increase speed and capacity.

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"[The] money will be used for insulating the clubhouse," says Secretary of the Boulder Junction Shooting Range Pete Drahn. "It'll be used to remove doors and windows that we no longer need, and to replace a window with a more energy efficient window."

The range has gotten grants two years in a row, but it won't happen again next year.

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The range also plans to install a new fence to improve the facility's safety.

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