Mauston residents want better internet service; Lynxx presents its fiber optic plan | Juneau County Star Hours

John GITTING

Mauston residents are looking for better options for the area’s internet service, citing issues such as speed, outages and rates.

The city received 214 responses to a recent survey on network issues, reliability and options and addressed the topic at its May 24 city council meeting. The majority of responses indicated that the area’s Internet service needs improvement. Just over 90% of respondents indicated that they have broadband Internet service and of these, 93% have it through two companies: Frontier Communications and Mediacom.

Just over 58% of survey respondents at least somewhat agreed that an investment of taxpayer dollars should be considered to provide additional home internet provider options, while just over 82% at least somewhat disagreed that they were ‘generally satisfied’ with internet options in the city.

“Usually when you ask how to spend taxpayers’ money, you get an equal number of people who say they agree and an equal number who say they disagree,” he said. Administrator Randy Reeg at the meeting. “I thought it was saying people think we should consider this.”

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Lynxx Networks, a Camp Douglas-based telecommunications provider, proposed a project worth around $5.3 million at the meeting to expand internet options through fiber optics. Chris Heffel, a Lynxx representative, addressed the council and mentioned that the company already serves much of the city’s “essential infrastructure”, including the city’s municipal building. The project proposal stated that, if approved, it would be completed in just over two years.

“We were getting constant calls from residents, so I told Randy we should sit down and discuss whether this is something we should be looking at,” Heffel said of the supply. WAN service. He added that the support was more favorable than he expected.

The fiber project would include more than 1,700 additional locations in Mauston and surrounding townships, including 2,000 to 2,500 apartments, according to Heffel. He added that the project would install 128 miles of fiber, including just over 29 “miles of road,” or under roads, and 99 miles needed to access residences, citing that fibers often have to go to the back of buildings. houses and apartment complexes.

“We’re looking at fiber to the home,” Heffel said. “We do this everywhere in our network. Camp Douglas, New Lisbon, the rural areas we serve. It’s the speed of light. It is the most scalable technology that exists. We have used the same fiber in some areas for decades and plan to use it for many more.

According to the proposal, the new fibers would be installed primarily in the towns of Lisbon and Lemonweir adjacent to Mauston, as well as extended service in the town. Heffel added that the fibers running from the roads to each residence can carry more traffic than anything current Lynxx customers are using.

“This project would bring gigabit Internet to every home already built and ready for 10 gigabit service,” Heffel said. “This fiber-in-the-ground is capable of 100 gigabytes or even more with just a few electronic upgrades.”

After taking into account the number of estimated subscribers, taking the rate (fee per subscriber) and the amount charged per subscriber, Heffel said that Lynxx would not be able to finance the entire project, which is why the company is looking for funds.

The proposal said Lynxx would be able to pay $2,400 per location for the project, leaving a shortfall of $638 that would equate to just over $1.1 million in taxpayer contributions.

“Lynxx is well positioned to be the one to do that,” Heffel said of the fiber optic project.

No decision was made on the project at the meeting, and Reeg said the board would revisit the proposal in the near future.

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