Broadband in 2020: The Momentum West Region is Telecommuter Forward!
Friday, January 17, 2020
The Momentum West region is comprised of several Telecommuter Forward! certified communities. These communities have demonstrated a commitment to supporting telecommuters through the installation of fiber and ready access to fast internet speeds. As a result, the region has become home to a growing number of telecommuters working for corporations throughout the country - all from the comfort of home.
The ready availability of broadband can be attributed to a partnership between local telecommunications companies, cooperatives, local government and the state. Telecommunications companies and cooperatives have heavily invested in broadband and government grants have helped to pay for a portion of these projects.
This investment ensures that people living and working within the region have access to the economic opportunities broadband creates. Cliff Albertson, EVP of Badger Communications Corporation spoke of the motivation behind making these investments, “Rural Independent Broadband Service Providers – cooperative or commercial, are dedicated to the community because they live here. They have kept up with technology with continued investments and help to support economic growth in the process.”
The focus on investing in fiber has positively impacted the region’s growth opportunity and has allowed for telecommuters to move to the Momentum West region, while also making it possible for current residents to earn more money or to improve their schedule. Cindy from Dunn County said, “I pursued a telecommuting position that would allow me to have a more flexible schedule, more time with my family and a lot less time on the road. Now I enjoy the two extra hours I no longer use driving to the office, along with having access to my work all hours of the day. Telecommuting has been successful. It is fast and reliable, which allows me to meet my productivity requirements. It also allows for more flexibility in my schedule.”
Nick, also from Dunn County, works in a technical field for an employer who requires fast internet speeds for him to complete his daily work. He said of telecommuting, “My company wouldn’t allow telecommuting so freely, and definitely wouldn’t let it continue, without a quality internet connection. 24-7 & West Wisconsin Telcom’s fiber optic internet connection has given me a healthier work/life balance as I am able to telecommute to my job. I am now able to work from home and largely set my own schedule as long as I work eight hours each day.”
This type of freedom is available to telecommuters with a fast internet connection. As a Telecommuter Forward! community, the Momentum West region offers this and more. Those who enjoy working from home on their own schedule, can also enjoy the incredible recreation opportunities available within the region. By not commuting, and having a flexible schedule, telecommuters can go fishing, take a bike ride, go for a hike and generally enjoy the great outdoors on their ‘lunch break’. They also have a tendency to invest the commute time savings in “Volunteerism”. In a recent survey, 15% of telecommuters volunteered at local schools and 20% volunteered for local charities and worker events. In addition, 35% reported shopping at local retail stores and other businesses. When working outside of the community, these workers could have been supporting restaurants and retailers near their job. By telecommuting, they support community businesses instead.
Broadband in 2020
The WI Telecommuter Forward map below shows that the Momentum West area has planted a lot of flags! Each one signifies an area that is Telecommuter Forward! certified and a lot more are being planted in 2020. As we build our “Momentum” and continue to invest in broadband, the Momentum West region will be even more attractive for individuals, families and businesses looking to get out of the high-cost and congested metropolitan areas and into somewhere as beautiful and picturesque as this area of Wisconsin.
Those interested in learning more about recent broadband investments are invited to attend the Dunn County EDC meeting on Wednesday, April 22 where Mr. Jaron McCallum, WI State Broadband Director will be the guest speaker. He will present the Telecommuter Forward Certifications to several of the Flag communities shown below.