Marathon County’s Consultant Completes Broadband Assessment

Written by Melinda Osterberg

After a 5-month planning process, Marathon County’s consultant — Design Nine, of Blacksburg, VA  — has completed its Broadband Assessment and Plan. The study identifies infrastructure necessary to expand high-speed internet access throughout the County.

Broadband Assessment and Plan-cover

The current definition of broadband is 25 megabits download and 3 megabits upload; however, according to the study, that level of service is not available in the rural portions of Marathon County and, if available, may not support more intense uses, such as video conferencing.

The broadband report outlines improvements that are necessary to provide 90% of the County with access to high-speed internet and a system that can seamlessly grow to support future demand. The consultant projected that broadband need in the County will increase by 30% annually. As such, Marathon County is currently working with area Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to determine how the County can best support the private market in expanding access to high-speed internet.

View the full Broadband Assessment and Plan here or view the Executive Summary here.

The Broadband Feasibility Study (from which the above graphic was pulled) envisions a hybrid network of fiber and fixed wireless service to provide high-speed internet access throughout Marathon County.

Updates can be viewed on the County’s “Planning for High-Speed Internet” webpage as the project moves forward.


For additional information on broadband planning in Marathon County, view this article or contact Melinda Osterberg, Marathon County Extension Community Development Educator, at or 715-261-1240.

MelindaOsterbergMelinda Osterberg

Marathon & Lincoln County Community Development Educator | UW-Madison Division of Extension

Melinda began her career with Marathon County in 2019, as the Community Development Educator for Marathon and Lincoln Counties. Prior to taking her position with UW-Madison Extension, her focus was land use planning and zoning, both in the private sector and as a County Planner for several counties in Central Wisconsin. In Marathon County, Melinda’s focus is on rural broadband and organizational and economic development, particularly through a cultural lens. In her free time, she enjoys long-distance running, golfing, gardening, and spending time with her two sons (Jack and Mark).  Email Melinda Osterberg.

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