Sturgeon Bay, Wis. (May 10, 2021) – Broadband services have become a matter of public need and necessity and an essential infrastructure for economic development and community quality of life. Broadband is now considered along with water, sewer, electric power, and natural gas as critical infrastructure.
As Door County continues to struggle with Broadband service issues with the demand for bandwidth projected to increase substantially over the coming years, the DCEDC has begun to work with local municipalities, private companies, and local foundations to fund a comprehensive assessment of the current Broadband infrastructure, along with possible short- and long-term solutions.
DCEDC issued a Request for Proposals in late January to qualified Broadband consultants in the United States to perform a comprehensive assessment of the Broadband infrastructure in Door County. These proposals were reviewed by a technical panel as well as a selection committee. After review of proposals and due diligence, the DCEDC Board of Directors awarded the contract to Finley Engineering Company, Inc. of Altoona, Wisconsin, in collaboration with CCG Consulting.
Finley Engineering Company, Inc. (Finley), offers services throughout the U.S., in the fields of broadband/telecommunications, electric power, and related industries. We serve a large variety of clients including all sizes of broadband/telecom organizations and electric power organizations, telecom and electric cooperatives and utility districts, states, counties, townships, cities, wireless internet service providers (WISPs), and other public and private companies of all sizes. More information on Finley may be found at https://finleyusa.com/.
“We take a little different philosophical approach from many other study proposals in the industry,” noted Mark Mtla, Director with Finley Engineering. “Our primary focus on this type of study is to find a solution that can be funded and built.”
The ultimate objective is to develop a comprehensive strategy that will provide reliable Broadband service up to 1 gigabit to every residence and business in Door County. If technologies that are not scalable to 1 gigabit or greater are used or recommended in order to provide an interim or transitional solution for the unserved, such technologies must be considered transitional only. Interim solutions may be necessary, but should only be recommended as transitional to a scalable final solution.
The goals of the study are to:
● Understand what is currently available, where does the infrastructure serve, capacity, and who owns the infrastructure
● Identify voids or deficiencies in service
● Determine the appropriate organizational structure for Broadband service
● Options in providing service both in the short-term and long-term along with possible financing plans and strategies
“Finley Engineering is a leader in analysis of Broadband and the structure delivery systems that are reasonable and achievable,” stated Steve Jenkins, Executive Director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation. “Their success in assisting rural communities meet Broadband needs are unparalleled and we are excited to have them involved on the crucial endeavor for Door County.”
Primary sponsors of the Broadband Infrastructure Engineering Assessment include the County of Door, Town of Liberty Grove and the Door County Medical Center. Other communities in Door County are also considering sponsorship with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The Finley work is scheduled to be completed in early October at which time will be move into implementation based on the recommendations.
The Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) is a public/private partnership dedicated to improving the economic vitality of the county and its residents. Founded in 1989, DCEDC has been successful in helping existing businesses create and retain thousands of jobs through a myriad of programs and initiatives. Additionally, DCEDC places strong emphasis on fostering entrepreneurial instincts in county residents as well as those who vacation in Door County.