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Pierce continues quest for countywide high-speed internet

Pierce County's drive for countywide high-speed internet is still headed forward, but it's made a little change in course.

Clearwire, a nationwide wireless internet service provider, recently contacted the county about partnering on the project and will be a co-applicant when Pierce applies for a federal grant, Brad Roy said. Roy, a zoning specialist in the Department of Land Management, has taken the lead on the project.

Late last year, Pierce County advertised for proposals for a company to build, maintain and operate a mobile broadband network that would serve residential, commercial, non-profit, school, government, hospital and student users.

Only one company, Rassbach Communications of Eau Claire, responded. While Rassbach's proposal met many of the requirements of the request for proposals, it didn't meet them all and couldn't provide secure full-county coverage, said Roy.

Rather than formally accept the proposal, county officials directed staff to work with Rassbach.

More recently, Clearwire, which is currently constructing a network in Minneapolis, contacted the county about partnering on a project, said Roy. On March 1, the Pierce Finance Committee authorized Roy to work with Clearwire.

For more please read the March 17 print version of the Herald.

Judy Wiff

Judy Wiff has been regional editor for RiverTown’s Wisconsin newspapers since 1996. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology from UW-River Falls. She has worked as a reporter for several weekly newspapers in Wisconsin.