Luxemburg enters agreement for high-speed internet with Cellcom
LUXEMBURG – The Luxemburg Village Board entered into an agreement with wireless service provider Cellcom to provide high-speed fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) internet, TV and voice services to every address in the village.
Once the project is underway, residents and businesses within the village limits will have a choice of fiber optic speed options from 250 megabits to one gigabit per second. A press release from Cellcom said it hopes to be able to serve some neighborhoods this year, with the rest of the village having access in 2022.
The need for improved internet service in Luxemburg was highlighted in the past year by the COVID-19 pandemic, Village Trustee Brian Barbiaux said in the press release. The pandemic and state-ordered shutdown of schools and nonessential businesses last spring saw students in the Luxemburg-Casco School District taking online classes for several months and some people working from home, which often put a strain on internet use in a number of households.
“Village residents and businesses were seeking better internet service for years, but the pandemic really put a spotlight on the issue,” Barbiaux said.
The village currently gets its internet service from CenturyLink, but it's not high-speed internet. Village President Jack Seidl told the Star-News it's an old network that relies on DSL (phone lines) for its service, so connections were spotty and depended on location. Seidl also said CenturyLink didn't respond when asked about upgrading its system for the village.
"The problem is, the ones who were close to (the lines) would get good service, the ones next to them, even one house next door, would get nothing," Seidl said.
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Seidl said the village considered one other provider but chose Cellcom because of its willingness and ability to service the entire village. Additionally, he noted Cellcom is a local company, owned by Green Bay-based Nsight.
A number of packages will be available for residential and business use, and Cellcom's press release said products and pricing will be comparable with similar plans in other areas, with discounts available to customers who also have Cellcom wireless service.
Improved high-speed internet access has been a longstanding problem across Kewaunee County, and the county last summer entered into an agreement with another Green Bay-based provider, Bug Tussel Wireless, for the company to build seven towers intended to expand broadband access across most of the county.
But the coverage area of the county plan won't necessarily take in Luxemburg, and Seidl said it wouldn't be practical in a residential area.
"The problem we would have had in Luxemburg is if there are trees in the line (of the towers), you wouldn't get service," he said. "We looked at different ways to make it work, but … (the county broadband plan) is basically going to be a rural thing."
Although the current agreement is for coverage within the village limits, Seidl said Cellcom would consider requests to extend its coverage outside the borders if the demand warrants it.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Luxemburg enters agreement for high-speed internet with Cellcom