Most rural areas have broadband connective maps that look like a donut. The county seat or bigger town is served, the outlying areas are not. Madison, in Lac qui Parle County is more like Swiss cheese. The outlying areas are served and Madison sits like the hole in the cheese. But they’re working on it. Last week the Madison Chamber Commerce heard from the local community broadband committee, as reported in the Western Guard.
The committee laid out the history of high speed broadband internet, and how Madison was left out when a countywide fiber optic installation took place in 2010. Back in 2010, Farmers Mutual Telephone Company, thanks to a USDA grant and loan from Lac qui Parle County, did a fiber to the premises project throughout the county. But since Madison was not considered underserved, due to the fact that Mediacom advertised broadband speeds that met FCC standards, the city was left out. At that time, Madison was not technically underserved. Six years later, those speeds have become obsolete. This is why the committee was formed, as they try to gauge public interest and need, and figure out a way to bring fiber optic internet to Madison.
The committee talked about their plans to move forward…
The committee has been speaking with the public at different events and will soon be putting out a survey to Madison residents and businesses, asking for their input regarding internet. The survey will show up in the mail as a tri-folded sheet of bright pink paper. Those whose complete and return the survey will be entered in a drawing for $50 in Madison Bucks.