New North develops broadband internet pilot program with Brown Co.
Economic-development firm has ultimate goal of increasing speeds across entire region
NEW NORTH, December 21, 2020 – New North Inc., the regional economic development corporation serving the 18 counties of Northeast Wisconsin, has developed a pilot program with Brown County with the ultimate goal of increasing broadband internet speeds across the entire region. Brown County rolled out a website late last week which provides individuals, organizations and companies the ability to learn what their current internet speeds are, while also helping Brown County to pursue better infrastructure in underserved areas.
New North has been working with the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Access, established this past July by Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. As part of this work, the need for crowd-sourced data maps was identified. New North worked with GEO Spatial Engineering & Optimization to launch a platform for counties within the New North region.
Because of the vast amount of broadband work that had been undertaken by Achieve Brown County, Brown County was identified as the first county within the 18-county region to utilize this cloud-based platform, which is designed to provide communities, designers and implementers with tools to optimize their ability to price, design and deploy cost-effective broadband networks.
The software generates a network-cost solution. Brown County’s website to access this software can be found at www.browncountywi.gov/Broadband.
“We are grateful to Brown County for working through the details to create the website that provides more information on how residents can document their internet speeds,” says Barb LaMue, president and CEO of New North Inc. “We highly encourage participation, which takes less than five minutes. It is our intention to assist the other counties of the New North region with a similar design after this pilot.”
The website enables Brown County to accurately identify its current internet-access situation from border to border, with the speed test tool reporting actual internet speeds. The website also provides information about what other parts of Wisconsin and the United States are doing to help citizens access broadband internet.
“It is our desire that everyone here in Brown County, from school-aged youth to young entrepreneurs, small-business owners and older adults have fast internet speeds in order to navigate our interconnected world,” says Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach. “In order to advance this goal, Brown County needs to ensure that we are getting the requisite assistance necessary to help provide for this important infrastructure.”
Streckenbach has asked that all municipalities, community organizations, business groups, Chambers of Commerce, education advocates, healthcare organizations and trade groups promote this initiative through their respective networks, strengthening the ability of Brown County to obtain grants and other funding in order to help expand broadband opportunities within the region.
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New North, Inc., is a 501(c)3 non-profit, regional economic development corporation fostering collaboration among private and public sector leaders throughout the 18 counties of Northeast Wisconsin, known as the New North region. The New North brand unites the region both internally and externally around talent development, brand promotion and business development, signifying the collective economic power behind the 18 counties. The counties include Outagamie, Winnebago, Calumet, Waupaca, Brown, Shawano, Oconto, Marinette, Door, Kewaunee, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette, Florence, Menominee and Waushara. www.thenewnorth.com
New North Media Contact: Jeff Blumb, 920.328.5454 or [email protected]
Brown County Media Contact: Deputy Executive Jeff Flynt, 920.448.4083