Waupaca Online, operated by the City of Waupaca is working with Waupaca County on a phase I internet expansion effort. Waupaca County in conjunction with the Waupaca County Economic Development corporation has invested money from a Community Development Block Grant to erect 11 towers across rural Waupaca County to bring high-speed internet to rural residents and businesses.
If you are interested in connecting to Waupaca Online for internet service, fill out the below form. We will check our current network for any service options at your location, and if none, will place you on our installation list to be installed once the tower nearest your location is brought online. (Scroll below this form for more information about this internet expansion effort).
The below information will help you learn more about the project and if you will be serviced.
When will service be available?
You are likely already seeing the new towers and as of January we are still waiting for electric service to be provided to several of the tower locations. Waupaca Online staff has been given the okay to start mounting needed equipment on the towers that are ready. Being in the middle of winter limits when this work can be done. We need days with low to no-wind, dry conditions and temperatures at least in the 30’s to safely and effectively do this work. A couple towers will likely be equipped in January and February with more of the work expected to take place in March and April. As local towers are brought online we will start installing new customers on a first come, first serve basis. We expect some of the earlier installations to start in March, with more rapid progress starting in late April and into May.
What areas will these 11 new towers reach?
The map below shows the general anticipated coverage area for these 11 new towers. Localized connections depend on line of site between the customer location and tower. Not all locations in the coverage area will be serviceable and some locations outside the coverage area may be serviceable. This map provides general guidance where our mapping software feels there will be a reasonable possibility of providing service. Waupaca Online staff will be able to verify your location.
Why isn’t my area covered and why did you focus on only certain areas of Waupaca County for the selection of tower sites?
The process to select tower sites took staff and county officials a lot of time, research and efforts working with your local elected officials. Fixed wireless internet depends on good line of site between the tower and customer site. Portions of Waupaca County that have a lot of hills and dense tree coverage were excluded from this project due to a low success rate for this type of internet. County and Waupaca Online staff then had to narrow down to selecting sites on town or county owned land where our research tools showed the best chances for success. Even though some areas were excluded from this particular project, Waupaca County staff will be continuing efforts with other Internet Service Providers to continue expansion and upgrade efforts in other areas of the county in future phases of internet expansion projects. A lot more funding will be available for internet expansion efforts and your local officials are committed to continuing internet expansion efforts.
What is fixed-wireless internet?
Fixed wireless internet is provided to the customer through a line of site wireless connection from a nearby tower to your location. We use the same frequencies that Wi-Fi uses but with more power and much larger antennas. A small antenna is mounted on the customer location pointed precisely at a nearby tower that provides you the best connection. Major obstructions between a customer location and tower rapidly degrade the signal so care it taken to ensure a quality signal. The connection is always on and enters your location through a cable that runs in from the mounted antenna. From there you can hook it up to a wireless router or computer. We offer speeds up-to 25Mbps download and 5Mbps upload with absolutely no data limits. Our connection is “low latency” meaning it’s responsive, which is not always the case when comparing to Satellite or DSL internet. As a wireless service it is important to note we are not cellular or satellite internet. Our current customers can stream, VPN to work, utilize VoIP services, play online gaming and more.
What is the cost of service?
Installation & Connection fee: $95.00 upon establishing service
Monthly rates for residential: 5Mbps: $50 | 10Mbps: $65 | 25Mbps: $85
Low Income Plans
Installation & Connection fee: $50.00 upon establishing service
Monthly rates for low-income: 5Mbps: $35 | 10Mbps: $50
All areas in the expansion project fall into Waupaca Online’s “Extended Service Area.” See the pages below for more details regarding pricing and plans:
Why am I being asked to fill out a “Client Income Certification Form?”
Since we accepted Community Development Block Grant funding to realize this project, we have reporting requirement to fulfill our obligation of receiving the funding. All customers who wish to install service provided by one of the eleven towers in this project will have to fill out this simple form. Staff will keep this information confidential and the data will only be reported as required. The good news of this requirement is if you meet a “below” income level you are eligible for our internet “Essentials” pricing which will provide you a discount on the installation and connection fee and your monthly service cost. If you are unable to complete this form we will not be able to provide service to your location at this time. We have to meet this reporting requirement for the first two years of operating these towers.
It’s great to see progress on high-speed internet expansion in rural Waupaca County. What can I do to help?
There are a few things you can do:
- If you like our service you can refer our service to your neighbors, family and friends. Any new customers you refer that has service installed will provide you a billing credit for the referral. Help spread the word and learn more about our referral program here.
- Waupaca Online staff will be busy with the work we are doing on this project and continuing efforts on internet expansion, we are looking for help! We have openings on our team for two part-time internet technicians. These flexible positions start at $14.00/hours and we will mutually work within our schedules. These positions could be for the summer only or permanent depending on your needs. No experience necessary, all we look for are individuals are comfortable climbing ladders, have a little bit of mechanical skills, can learn some basic technology and are dependable. We will train for the rest. In the past high school and college students studying technology related fields, semi-retired and self-employed individuals have enjoyed working this position.
Learn more on the City of Waupaca website in regard to this employment opportunity.
- Since our connections depend on line of site, not all locations can see one of our main towers. We often partner with local businesses and residents who have tall structures such as silos, Harvestores, TV antenna towers or are located on a hill. These locations can see back to one of our main towers and can repeat service to your neighbors who may not be in a situation to “see” one of our main towers. Customers hosting a “POP” (point of presence) repeater site either get a free or drastically reduced rate on service.