Editor’s Note: Help Us to Help Us All

I’m happy to report that two months to the day that I started here at the Peninsula Pulse – May 4 – we were reunited with our belongings inside our new home. 

It would not have been possible without the generosity of a best friend who allowed us to invade her home and privacy while we waited to find and buy the perfect home. It would not have been possible without the graciousness of the sellers of our perfect home who accommodated us by closing early. 

Sleeping on the floor for a week was a small sacrifice to make as we waited for our belongings to arrive from storage in South Dakota. Once they did arrive on July 4 – not a holiday for us this year – I longed momentarily for that previously empty space. 

Boxes and furniture filled the rooms from floor to ceiling, and some things were broken. The relatively new engine on the rototiller seized, and a new one had to be delivered to break the virgin ground for the cover crops that will be planted this first year to prepare the soil for our large vegetable garden. Something pierced the box where a down comforter was packed, filling the room with goose feathers. I have no idea which box holds the thread and needles, or the silverware, or my summer clothing – an issue that doesn’t seem small with heat indices as high as they’ve been.

For now, we’ve carved box-walled mazes through most of the rooms, and we will get to the bottom of them all as weekends allow. 

Not so easy is negotiating the technology maze. When you fall in love with the perfect home, you look past its flaws. Maybe we couldn’t have foreseen that we’d have to sit in one chair in the dining room and not move an inch in either direction to maintain a cell phone signal. 

But we did anticipate the internet-access challenge that many people here are all too familiar with. It was difficult to even find resources to learn about our options, and difficult once we did find options to learn which of those would actually work. 

Not willing to foot the expense of installing a personal tower, we decided to go with satellite access. We’ve been pleased with the speeds so far, but the future may hold a different reality: On Monday evening during the heavy rainfall, I temporarily lost access.

I’m somewhat familiar with the broadband-access issues that exist up here in paradise. Unfortunately, many have persisted during the 12 years that I’ve been gone from Door County. The Pulse has covered these broadband issues repeatedly over the years, and we’re preparing to dive into the issues again. 

Our goal is not just to bring awareness to the issues, but to learn why they exist and what exactly is available where, why more options aren’t available, what other communities have done to solve the issues, and how those examples can inform the solutions we need to implement here at home. What are the real challenges and hurdles? Should broadband be regulated like a utility? Why not, and what’s preventing that? 

We have a lot of questions to start with, but we’d like to hear from you. What challenges have you experienced as a resident or business owner? What solutions have you discovered? What are your ideas when it comes to solving these issues? 

Your feedback is important. Some of you will undoubtedly offer angles that we have not thought of and provide us with stories of lived experience that we can use as springboards into data points and research. In short, we’d like to help solve this problem. If you’d like to help us, email us at [email protected] or [email protected]. Thanks for your engagement and support.