PPCS Launches SwiftCurrent Connect
Bringing High-Speed Internet to Rural Residents
Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services (PPCS) launched its new company, SwiftCurrent Connect, on Wednesday, July 14 at the cooperative headquarters. This wholly owned broadband subsidiary of PPCS will provide reliable, affordable, high-speed fiber internet service to rural residents across western Wisconsin. Last fall, PPCS applied for three Wisconsin Public Service Commission Broadband Expansion grants and was awarded $800,000 to bring high-speed internet to this area.
“The need for broadband in our rural area has been evident your years,” said Nate Boettcher, PPCS’ president and CEO. “But after the strains of online education and working from home brought about this past year by COVID-19, broadband is absolutely an essential service.”
SwiftCurrent Connect will use fiber optic cable. Fiber optic cable is made up of bundles of hair-thin strands of very pure glass or plastic. Fiber is a long-term solution that can deliver gigabit level speeds today. There is also no loss due to line of sight issues as with satellite or wireless technologies. Fiber optic cable is durable and future proof – it will be operational far into the future without any additional investments to upgrade.
The construction of the fiber lines will follow PPCS’ power lines already in place; fiber will be installed overhead where power lines are overhead and buried where power lines are underground. Construction of Phase I, which will be approximately 175 miles of fiber and pass nearly 1,500 homes, is slated to begin in September 2021, with its first customers being connected in October and November. The goal is to connect the more than 5,500 homes and businesses that have been forgotten about in Pierce, Pepin, and St. Croix counties. More information is available at www.swiftcurrent.coop. More information is available at www.swiftcurrent.coop.
“In total, we expect we will be installing nearly 800 miles of new fiber line to connect the underserved and unserved,” said Boettcher. “Just as we brought electricity to rural residents in 1938, we’re excited to bring this technology to the rural residents in our area. It truly will help everyone Live Better.”