New wireless tower unveiled in Marathon County

Tower near Little Chicago is part of the county’s Broadband Task Force’s plan to provide better service for rural communities
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 5:01 PM CDT
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LITTLE CHICAGO, Wis. (WSAW) - An official ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Friday at a new wireless tower north of Little Chicago in Marathon County.

Members from the Marathon County Board of Supervisors and Bug Tussel Wireless unveiled the new tower to the public at the ceremony. The tower is part of the plan for the Marathon County Board’s Broadband Task Force, which aims to provide more reliable internet services to rural areas within the county.

“The task force was created to try to work with internet services to implement a plan within the county,” said Broadband Task Force Chair John Robinson, “A plan for both a series of towers for wireless service and fiber to connect them to expand services to the rural parts of the county.”

The task force is working through a variety of partners and grants to establish these better services throughout the county. One of those partners is Green Bay-based wireless company Bug Tussel, which will be building 21 towers throughout Marathon County. The tower unveiled near Little Chicago is the first of the 21.

“We’re leveling the playing field for rural communities,” said Bug Tussel Director of Sales Kris Peterson, “so bringing high-speed internet from the city and bringing those luxuries to rural communities.”

One of the areas of emphasis for the task force is emergency response.

“If they had emergency situations, they couldn’t contact 911,” said Robinson. “This tower addresses a critical need in that area.”

The pandemic proved the need just how important the internet is to the daily life of everyone, whether in the city or the country.

“The COVID pandemic has driven home the importance of having access to reliable, adequate internet,” said Peterson, “whether it’s for telework, telehealth, education, or just communicating with family.”

There’s still a lot of room to grow. The task force will continue to look for grants to expand services and partner with other services. Robinson emphasizes, while not every community will receive service, they are working with communities to find ways to provide better service.

“Anytime that we make improvements, albeit it small, it’s a good step and a step forward.”

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