Gov. Evers, WEDC Announce Pilot Program to Test SpaceX Internet Service in Eau Claire County
Rural residents, businesses will test Starlink service
EAU CLAIRE, WI (STL.News) Governor Tony Evers, together with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), today announced the WEDC is assisting Eau Claire County in launching a pilot program to test SpaceX’s Starlink, a constellation of low Earth orbit satellites that can provide high-speed internet in rural areas where broadband is limited or not available. The announcement comes as Gov. Evers continues to underscore the importance of expanding access to reliable, high-speed internet as part of declaring 2021 the Year of Broadband Access.
The pilot project, which will provide high-speed internet to 50 rural homes and businesses, is being supported by a $27,500 Capacity Building Grant from WEDC, as well as funding from a group of healthcare providers including Marshfield Clinic, Mayo Clinic and Hospital Sisters Health System. Chippewa Valley Technical College and PESI Online Learning also contributed and are partners on the pilot project.
“We know that having access to reliable, affordable internet is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity,” Gov. Evers said. “Making sure that every Wisconsinite has access to this vital service is going to require creativity and innovation, and that’s the kind of approach WEDC’s investment in Starlink demonstrates.”