Gov. Evers visits small town near Fountain City benefiting from broadband expansion grant

TOWN OF CROSS, Wis. (WKBT) — Governor Tony Evers says every Wisconsin family should have access to broadband internet.

The Governor traveled to the Town of Cross on Tuesday to meet with people benefiting from a broadband expansion grant.

The $2 million grant helped this town of fewer than 300 people access faster internet.

Governor Evers says having these services in rural areas is important for the state’s education system, as well as for keeping residents connected to essential services.

“If we want to make sure our kids after they graduate from high school or college, want to come back and live here, you have to have broadband,” said Evers. “In order to have any kind of economic development in an area of the state, you have to have broadband.”

For some rural Fountain City residents, the early days of the pandemic were a wake-up call.

A founding member of the Town of Cross committee that asked for the grant, Barry Drazkowski, is married to a teacher.

When schools shut down, teaching from home became a challenge.

“My wife [was] watching her students fail, because both the distance learning but mostly because we can’t deliver out at our house,” said Drazkowski.

The infrastructure to bring high-speed internet to Cross is being installed right now. Drazkowski will have access to the service by October or November.

Cochrane Co-op Telephone Co. is providing the service.

“It’s 230 rural residents that, if we wouldn’t have gotten the grant, we probably wouldn’t have had a prayer in having high-speed internet,” said Drazkowski.

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