Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefish visited Cable on Wednesday and met with local officials to discuss broadband investments and economic development. Representatives from Bayfield County Economic Development and the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce joined with Norvado officials for a tour of their headquarters in Cable.
Kleefish also had an opportunity to splice a piece of fiber similar to what Norvado has supplied to most locations in their service area. That fiber provides Norvado customers with some of the fastest broadband speeds available in Wisconsin. Local officials invited the Lt. Governor to visit Cable in order to showcase their broadband infrastructure and discuss how to best utilize that to grow the population and attract new business.
James Bolen, executive director of the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce says the area is positioned to capitalize on broadband availability better than many other municipalities. “The investment that Norvado has made in Northwest Wisconsin is truly remarkable. When you see the size of their service area and think that they have run fiber throughout most of it, it is truly impressive’.
He noted that Norvado has even run fiber under Lake Superior to service Madeline Island. Bolen went on to say, “We now have 1 gig broadband speed, something not available in most cities, available right here in rural Wisconsin. That sets us apart and we are working with Norvado and Bayfield County Economic Development to make sure folks know that”. Bolen also thanked the Lt. Governor for visiting Cable and taking time to discuss opportunities moving forward.
The Lt. Governor agreed. ‘"That is the cool thing about investing in the economy and the newest utility, we believe it will yield results," said Kleefish. The Lt. Governor spent about an hour and a half in Cable, first touring the facility and then talking with Norvado CEO Chad Young, BCEDC director Scottie Sandstrom and Chamber director Bolen. Young noted that Wisconsin had recently passed a ‘Telecommuting Forward’ bill which will certified municipalities that have significant broadband availability.
“Bayfield County and BCEDC have been at the forefront of that legislation and we are now poised to be the first region to be certified” he said. Representative from Focus on Energy and Xcel Energy also presented Norvado with grants totaling just over $60,000.
In the end, local officials were encouraged by the discussions and said the Lt. Governor had several ideas that they will follow up on. The Lt. Governor had a much better understanding of the broadband available in Bayfield County and a memento; a short piece of fiber optic line she had spliced herself!
For more information contact the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce at 715.798.3833 or firstname.lastname@example.org