When Rob Summerfield first ran for the state Legislature in 2016 and began door-knocking in rural Chippewa and Dunn counties, he heard from several people who said it would be “nice” to have improved broadband and internet connections.

By 2018, “nice” had been replaced by words such as “imperative.” People saw that they were losing out by not having strong home internet service. That only compounded during the pandemic, when suddenly children were remote learning, and adults were working from home.

“You really saw it amplified,” Summerfield said Monday. “There are a lot of un-served areas, and people said, ‘this is a necessity.’”

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