More people in areas near Onalaska and Salkum are now on the high-speed Internet grid thanks to a project to install fiber-optic cable.
TDS Telecom worked for the past few months to install 10 miles of fiber optic cable and six cabinets. The company announced completion of the project June 18.
TDS says the project, which cost $1.6 million, provides high-speed Internet service to more than 400 people who are customers of TDS’ McDaniel Telephone Co. Seventy-five percent of the project’s cost was covered by a United States Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service grant, with 25 percent — or nearly $400,000 — coming from TDS.
The project was one of 44 that TDS received funding for through Rural Utilities Service grants, and one of three recently completed by the company across the United States.
Meanwhile, another project to upgrade service in South Lewis County continues, as ToledoTel is also using money provided through the Rural Utilities Service — this in the form of an $18 million loan — for upgrades. That project will upgrade ToledoTel’s system from copper wire to a fiber-optic system, and provide higher data speeds for internet users in the area.