Letter to the Editor: Support Broadband in Nasewaupee, Sept. 25

In most parts of Nasewaupee, the internet is unbearably slow. Often you can’t keep a connection – or even log on. It’s unacceptable, and it’s setting the town back as a desirable place to live and work.

But there are efforts to bring fast, reliable internet to Nasewaupee. If this matters to you, then plan to attend a special town meeting at 7 pm. on Monday, Sept. 25 at the Nasewaupee Town Hall.

The town board’s broadband committee has been investigating options since April 2022. It recommended the town contract with Bertram Communications to install the infrastructure and provide high-speed internet. Bertram has offered to cover $2.2 million of the total $9.95 million cost. Recently, Bertram informed the broadband committee that by the end of September, the town can apply for a $2-to-$3-million grant for the project. Such a grant would jumpstart efforts to install fiber optic lines to every resident, business and government office in Nasewaupee within the next few years.

According to the town’s information, the balance of the project cost would need to be financed by the town with a loan of up to $5 million. The tax increase would be about $1 per $1,000 of property assessed value for 20 years. For example, the tax impact on a home valued at $250,000 would be about $21 per month. This does not include the cost of the internet service, but proposed rates for high-speed internet provided by Bertram are less than what is currently offered by its competitors.

The town will ask electors – anyone who lives in the town and is 18 or older – if they want the town to apply for the grant.

I urge you to attend the Sept. 25 meeting. The board will make its decision based on the sentiment of the electors present. Please show the board you believe high-speed internet is necessary. We need it for emergency and medical communication, for business, for students, for remote work, for home values, for entertainment – and for the future of our town.

Margaret LeBrun

Nasewaupee, Wisconsin