Brown County considers $27 million for Bug Tussel internet expansion

  • Brown County would use sales tax money to finance a $27.2 million broadband expansion proposal
  • Bug Tussel Wireless would extend 25 Mbps to majority of Brown County; fiber lines would serve 6,000.
  • Agreement to extend infrastructure could include price caps for county residents.
  • County Board expected to consider the terms later this year.
A map shows tentative locations for towers in Brown County under the Bug Tussel Wireless plan to expand high-speed internet.

A Green Bay-based wireless company proposes to extend high-speed internet to thousands of properties in rural Brown County where service is slow, and place a cap on monthly rates.

But to make it happen, the company is asking for a nearly $30 million loan that would be taken from the county’s sales tax revenues.

Bug Tussel Wireless submitted a proposal to extend 25 megabits per second (Mbps) download speeds and 3 Mbps upload speeds to almost every part of the county, while it also installs fiber optic lines that would extend 300 Mbps and higher-speed service to an estimated 6,000 underserved homes , farms and businesses.

The FCC set 25/3 speeds as the baseline for high-speed internet, often called broadband, capable of handling basic functions like email and internet browsing plus some high-demand applications like video conferences or online gaming. Someone with 25 Mbps could also download a high-definition movie in about half the time it would take at 10 megabits per second.

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