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State to share federal grant to provide internet service to Vernon County

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news Ellsworth, 54011
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

Wisconsin is one of 16 states that will share $103-million in federal dolllars to provide high-speed Internet service to rural areas.

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The U.S. Agriculture Department announced a 24-million-dollar "infra-structure loan" today to the Vernon Telephone Cooperative of La Crosse, which serves much of Vernon County in southwest Wisconsin. It's the only Wisconsin project to get the USDA's new funding.

In a teleconference, Jonathan Adelstein - the agency's rural utilities' services administrator - said rural areas lag behind cities-and-villages in getting broadband Internet service. That's because those places don't have enough customers to support a service, or their terrain is too rugged. Adelstein says rural Web access is vital to improve rural economic and educational opportunities.

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