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Internet co-op formed to build fiber optic cable infrastructure

SENECA - Several rural Seneca neighbors have created the 3C Co-op for the express purpose of closing the gap in Crawford County between the haves and have-nots in broadband internet service. 

The 3C (Crawford County Communications) Co-op grew from the efforts of the neighbors to get broadband internet service to their businesses and homes, located along Stony Point Road in Seneca Township. 

The neighbors formed an advocacy group UBAC in October of 2016 following meetings with politicians, state officials, the service provider and others in September.

UBAC stands for Universal Broadband Access Coalition. The group collected information and advocated for creating and offering broadband in the underserved portions of rural Wisconsin. UBAC has a particular interest in seeing broadband expanded to their area. All three of the neighbors are in the Century Tel Net service areas and to date have no broadband access.

The mission statement of the 3C Co-op indicates its purpose is “to ensure that all residents of Crawford County shall have accesss to High Speed Internet, that will serve them for generations to come,” according to Jay McCloskey, the Chairperson of the 3C Co-op Board.

The goal is to bring fiber optic cable to the unserved residences and offer service up to 1 GB down and 500 MB up, as well as telephone and entertainment options similar to those offered by the Richland Grant Telephone Co-operative to their members in many parts of Crawford County.

 It would also be the same as all of Vernon Communications’ co-op members receive in Vernon County.

“There are 3,605 homes that don't have good broadband service,” pointed out Camille Smith, another member of the 3C Co-op. 

“And, every week that goes by, is another week a school child can’t do homework in their home, another week of someone not being able to work remotely, another week where someone can’t get online education,” McCloskey said. 

“For all the people who are have-nots every week they can’t get adequate broadband service just creates this greater sense of urgency,” Smith added. 

For more information about the 3C Co-op call 608-735-4322.