Monticello gets access to broadband internet for first time as part of Spectrum rural internet expansion

MONTICELLO, Wis. — The village of Monticello is about to have broadband internet for the first time ever.

Spectrum crews have begun digging and laying cable for broadband in Monticello as part of a construction project that puts the high-speed internet option in three rural Wisconsin villages.

For years, the people who live in Monticello have had between one and two options for internet, and one functions more like a hotspot.

Heather Davis works in the village but lives on the outskirts of town.

“It’s slow,” she said. “We might not have the best connection, so we think an email is sent we don’t know for sure if it is or not. And then with teenage daughters in the house, too, Wi-Fi is an issue.”

She isn’t sure the new services will reach her outside of village proper, but she is excited about the possibility.

Village President Leaora Miller is excited about what it could mean for the village, which she thinks has been held back by its current choices.

“It’s hard for our businesses,” she said. “It’s hard for our residents. Anyone who would want to work from home, it’s hard when you don’t have fast, reliable internet.”

Rural broadband is an issue lawmakers have talked about for years.

This year, the legislature passed a tax exemption for phone companies to install rural broadband, which the governor hasn’t signed yet.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-West Point, said he thinks what Spectrum is doing is great. He said without good internet, students in rural communities who need to do homework online or people who want to start businesses aren’t able to.

“To me (broadband) is a great leveler,” he said. “Everyone should have access to it. They don’t have to pay for it if they don’t want it, but everyone should have access to it.”

Services were available to Monticello residents starting Feb 17. Spectrum plans to build broadband infrastructure in Orfordfville and Footville in the coming months as well.