FOR ANTIGO TIMES
Antigo, WI, September 25, 2020 – More than 1,650 residents from Langlade County responded to the Langlade County Technology Survey sent out mid-summer.
Results suggested that while more than 75% of respondents stated they had broadband, the quality of the service was varied. More than half (54%) stated that they could not do everything they wanted to do on the internet (such as open websites, watch videos, video chat with others) because the internet was too slow, the service went out frequently, weather affected the service, and the increase in number of users in the household or vacationers that spend time in the northwoods slowed the system down, or made it unusable, unreliable or inconsistent.
Angie Close, Executive Director, Langlade County Economic Development Corporation, hopes to use the report as further evidence of Langlade County’s need for improved broadband service. The report will be submitted to the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Access, formed in July 2020, that will advise the Governor and Wisconsin State Legislature on broadband actions and policy, including strategies for successfully expanding high speed internet access to every residence, business, and institution in the state; initiatives for digital inclusion; and pathways to unlocking and optimizing the benefits of statewide, affordable access to broadband for all communities in Wisconsin.“We are fortunate to have northwoods representation on the Governor’s Task Force, and this report will further support our assertion that broadband service is inadequate and unreliable for many of our residents and businesses.”
Additionally, results suggested that older adults use the internet primarily, though not exclusively, for socially connecting, enjoying entertainment, shopping, visiting websites of local business and organizations, and obtaining health information. The report’s main author, Terri Johnson, Community Health Aging Coordinator for the HeART (health aging in rural towns) Project, stated that the inability of older adults to digitally connect concerns her and many of the HeART Coalition’s members because of the growing concerns of isolation and loneliness that may severely impact the community’s older adults. COVID-19 has kept many of our seniors indoors. And many more are afraid to go out.
The Langlade County Technology Surveys was sent to approximately 4,300 rural residents of Langlade County. The survey was developed and administered by the HeART Project and Langlade County Economic Development Corporation, with additional support from Aspirus Langlade Hospital and UW-Madison School of Nursing. The full report is available at Langlade County Economic Development website: https://langladecountyedc.org/about/lcedc-reports/