Marathon County’s overarching goal is to be the healthiest, safest, and most prosperous county in Wisconsin.  Recognizing that access to broadband is an integral component of County health and prosperity, Marathon County established Goal 8.7: Strive to provide affordable, reliable, high-speed internet access throughout the County in the Strategic Plan 2018-2022.  It is becoming increasingly clear that access to high-speed internet is a necessity for community and economic development.  

As part of achieving Goal 8.7 and developing a comprehensive approach for the provision of high speed internet service, the Marathon County Extension, Education, and Development and Infrastructure Committees, issued a Request for Proposals on April 7, 2019 for preparation of a Broadband Feasibility Study.  Once complete, it is anticipated that the Study will provide guidance to Marathon County and its municipalities on the most efficient and cost effective method to develop a countywide high-speed internet network.

The Broadband Feasibility Study is the latest action Marathon County has taken in proactively planning for high speed internet.  In Fall of 2018, Marathon County Extension engaged community stakeholders in dialogue about broadband and cellular coverage within the County.  This documented conversation resulted in identifying a need for additional analysis through a Broadband Feasibility Study. 

Additionally, in 2015 Marathon County established a Connectivity Task Force which gathered information on the state of broadband in the county. The Task Force gave a report to the full County Board in fall 2015.

These planning processes reflect the 2009 Broadband Gap Analysis which identified county-wide issues related to economical broadband access.

2009 Broadband Gap Analysis Documents:

For additional information on Broadband planning in Marathon County, please contact Melinda Osterberg, University of Wisconsin-Madison Marathon County Community Development Educator at melinda.osterberg@wisc.edu or 715-261-1240.