Bug Tussel and Florence County Awarded Broadband Grant

April 13, 2021

Wendy Gehlhoff

joint press release

Bug Tussel Wireless collaborated with Florence County to apply for a Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin Broadband Expansion Grant in November 2020.  In late March, the PSC announced awards of $28.4 million to expand high-speed broadband internet access to unserved and underserved locations in 44 counties.  The Bug Tussel-Florence County project was one of 58 projects selected from the 124 applications submitted requesting more than $62 million.

Bug Tussel is investing $681,743 as match for the $227,248 grant funding to build one new wireless tower and install fixed wireless service on the new tower plus six existing towers in Florence County.  Five sites will use a Cambium product providing a maximum 100 Mbps down and two sites will use a MIMO LTE product also offering a maximum 100 Mbps download speed.  This project has the potential to reach 71 businesses and 3,377 households in Florence County.

This is the second PSC fixed wireless grant award to Florence County since actively focusing on improving broadband service to its outlying rural townships.  New service territories combined with extra efforts by school staff enabled all Florence County students to participate in virtual school during the spring of 2020.  In addition, more and more homeowners are able to telecommute from their seasonal homes, a big trend during the COVID lock downs.   Florence County welcomes new telecommuters to work hard and then play hard on its 200,000 acres of public land.  To learn more about Florence County located in Northern Wisconsin visit www.ExploreFlorenceCounty.com or call Economic Development Director Wendy Gehlhoff (715) 528-3294.

Bug Tussel Wireless, headquartered in Green Bay, WI, operates 354 cellular towers in Wisconsin and Iowa for national carriers and 179 broadband sites in Wisconsin providing speeds of up to 100 Mbps in 24 rural Wisconsin counties with goals to add another 152 sites in 2021 and 2022 serving a total of 42 Wisconsin Counties.  Bug Tussel was formed in 2003 to provide rural cellular service in unserved “white spaces” and began providing broadband in unserved and underserved areas in 2010.

Steve Schneider, Bug Tussel founder, president and CEO, indicated that “Bug Tussel is very excited to expand into Florence County with new services and expanded broadband and cellular coverage.  Our focus will include areas such as Tipler, Fence, Fern, Long Lake, Keyes Lake, and areas along the Highway 70, 139 and 101 corridors.”  Bug Tussel will also be conducting community courses about using broadband, social media, applications for small business and artificial intelligence.  Bug Tussel plans to begin preselling service in May.  Residents and businesses interested in service can contact Bug Tussel at 1-833-BTUSSEL.  The Company has rate plans ranging from $44.95 a month up to $99.95 a month and will be offering a special rate of $50.00 for 25 Mbps on sites receiving grant funding.  For more info visit www.BugTusselWireless.com.

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