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Sun Prairie project could bring ‘Super Internet’ to residents, businesses

Published On: Jan 23 2014 07:44:37 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 23 2014 07:48:00 PM CST

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. -

People in Sun Prairie could soon get faster Internet, and not just any old upgrade, but a multi-million-dollar project that could bring the “Super Internet” into every home and business.

“You need electricity, water and Internet access basically,” said Craig Wardle, a Budweiser distributor. “We have this facility in Sun Prairie, but we also have a facility in Appleton. That facility is about half the size of this facility, but with connectivity and upload speed, it’s able to act like it’s on the other side of the wall for us.”

Wardle’s business has been allowed to use Sun Prairie’s utility fiber ring for the last two years.

“Service has been great. Up-time has been great and speed is never an issue,” Wardle said.

Sun Prairie city leaders have started looking into bringing fiber connectivity to everyone.

“That’s a real economic development boon to Sun Prairie,” University of Wisconsin-Madison telecommunications professor Barry Orton said.

Experts say fiber could help more people start businesses in their homes.

“What this really does is really helps the small entrepreneur who wants to start and grow a business largely from, maybe home,” Orton said.

City leaders are weighing all the options, including the price tag, but with the city owning its own utility there are advantages. Just ask those who live by fiber.

“Any place that’s looking for a business, if they’re in that area, that’s a huge advantage. They could have a huge advantage over their competitors,” Wardle said.

Fiber gives connection speed 50 times faster than the common broadband.

City leaders said the upgrade would equate to about a $5 increase for customers, but it might be awhile before a decision is made.

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