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Pierce, St. Croix towns get broadband aid

Communities in Pierce and St. Croix counties were among municipalities that were awarded broadband funding grants from the state Thursday.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) and Gov. Scott Walker announced the broadband grant awards, which total $7 million. The funds were distributed among 37 communities.

The projects in Pierce and St. Croix counties represent build-outs of existing projects that have been developed in stages.

Hager Telecom, doing business as Bevcomm, received $179,582 for the town of Diamond Bluff Phase 2 project. The project will expand fiber to 121 customers in the town of Diamond Bluff.

Somerset Telephone Co., doing business as Northwest Communications, received $63,000. The funding goes toward extending fiber to the town of Somerset, providing potential access for 185 homes. The Somerset project also builds a fiber route along the St. Croix River and completes the conversion from copper to fiber from Houlton up to the Polk County line.

Final approval of all 37 grants will be finalized by a PSC written decision and the expiration of a 10-day appeal process.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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