Ethoplex featured in JS Online, Milwaukee

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 | 0 comments

The digital divide between urban and rural areas remains, and some question government grants aimed at addressing it

By Rick Barrett of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

[Excerpt] It’s getting easier to find high-speed internet service in rural Wisconsin, yet there are still places where a robust online connection is as elusive as the Hodag, a mythical creature that legend says prowls the Northwoods.

What’s more, critics of government grants aimed at boosting the service across the country say much of the money is being spent on internet speeds that are obsolete.

Ethoplex, an internet service provider based in Germantown, says it’s expanding into rural Wisconsin, including communities in the Fox Valley.

The company uses a new wireless technology to deliver speeds up to 500 megabits per second to individual homes and 1,000 megabits to apartment buildings and businesses.

Ethoplex says it can bring ultrafast internet to homes through its fixed-wireless technology that is cheaper, per home, to install than wired service using fiber-optic cable.

“We calculate that it costs about one-tenth of what it would to connect homes via fiber,” said Ethoplex President and CEO Keefe John.

Last year, Ethoplex received a $7,886 state grant to provide internet service in the Town of Oconomowoc.

Government grants are “basically an accelerator” to get the service to rural communities faster, according to John.

“Hopefully the state legislature passes the budget amendment that has additional broadband funding. That would be significant for Wisconsin,” he said.

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