A Call To Improve Broadband Service In Wisconsin

Wisconsin is losing out on jobs because the state’s high-speed Internet service is not extensive enough, or fast enough. That is according to Reed Hall, director of the state’s Economic Development Corporation.

Wisconsin ranks 22nd among the 50 states in its average speed for broadband, and it is 26th in the amount of service that is faster than four mega-bits per second. The rankings come from Akamai Technologies, a New York firm that keeps track of broadband trends around the world.

Hall says people want to live and work in places with affordable and high-quality broadband. He said it is a fact that businesses have not opened in Wisconsin because of a lack of high-speed service in some parts of the state. And Hall said areas without broadband are a competitive disadvantage.

Akamai says the U.S. ranks eighth in average broadband speeds. South Korea and Japan are the two fastest. Hall says eighth-place is not a good place to be if the U.S. wants to lead the world’s economy.

Wisconsin has an average speed of 7.3 mega-bits per second. Vermont, Delaware, Washington DC, New Hampshire, and Utah are the five fastest, all averaging 9.5 and 10.8 mega-bits per second.

The state’s Economic Development Corporation is surveying businesses online about its high-speed needs. Hall says it will expose the weakest areas of the state.