Woman continues fight for rural internet

Woman continues fight for rural internet

A woman who called for action against her nonexistent rural internet access has won a small battle in the bigger war for Wi-Fi.

Linda McIsaac first called for action after spending thousands of dollars for internet access through Frontier Communications without ever getting reliable service. She took the company to small claims court and won but struggled to get representatives to pay her – until Call for Action got involved. McIsaac got a check in the mail days later.

“Yes, we have a check – but we still don’t have any internet service,” she said.

She’s not alone. After McIssac’s story first aired, Call for Action received more than a dozen calls and emails on the same issue – no rural internet access. Ben August is one of them. He lives in a Token Creek neighborhood six miles from the capitol.

“Nobody can get any broadband service in my subdivision,” August said.

Despite countless stories like these, companies are still awarded taxpayer money to build up their rural broadband service. Frontier secured more than $30 million in federal funding to do just that here in Wisconsin.

“It’s pretty frustrating to have found out that Frontier received tens of millions of dollars without providing the service it was intended for,” McIsaac said.

Gov. Scott Walker has recently proposed a rural broadband expansion bill that would allocate even more money to the cause. The legislation would offer up $35 million to help companies bring internet access to Wisconsin’s countryside.