Keeping an eye on Wisconsin with their Telecommuter First designation

It’s good to know what the neighbors are up to, turns out Wisconsin’s Bayfield County was just names the first Telecommuter First community. Business North reports…

History was made in Cable on Aug. 22 when Bayfield County was officially certified a “Telecommuter Forward!” Community, the first in the nation. At a meeting held at Norvado’s impressive headquarters on U.S. Highway 63, state, county, and local officials gathered to celebrate the landmark designation.

Administered by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, the “Telecommuter Forward!” certification recognizes local units of government that meet criteria for promoting telecommuting opportunities in partnership with broadband providers, economic development professionals, and the Wisconsin Broadband Office.

State Sen. Janet Bewley, District 74 Rep. Beth Meyers, and Public Service Commission Broadband Director Angie Dickison all were on hand to share their thoughts about what makes “Telecommuter Forward!” so noteworthy.

(Quick side note – nice to see Minnesota’s own Angie Dickison doing well!)

Minnesota has some communities that have been forward thinking when it comes to promoting broadband with telecommuting and home businesses. It’s interesting to see the designation, which sounds like it may be a Wisconsin construct. And I think valuable to see (or see again) the impact that promoting broadband as an economic development tool has…

“Broadband has become a major factor in driving the economic engine in our rural communities,” Albertson said after the meeting. “We’ve long practiced ‘catch & release’ with tourists who visit our area. Now we want to try a ‘catch & keep” approach with those who come visit. They love our beautiful unspoiled nature, but they don’t want to leave their jobs. Now they can bring those jobs with them and move here!”

This entry was posted in economic development by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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