New option for fiber internet breaks ground in Eau Claire | Chippewa Valley News

EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) – An option for faster internet will soon be available to you in Eau Claire. Officials hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction of the all-fiber network.

City leaders and TDS Telecommunications, a Madison-based broadband company, gathered at Phoenix Park Pavilion to celebrate the beginning of TDS building a fiber-to-the-premises network to 33,000 residential and business addresses in Eau Claire.

Drew Petersen, TDS senior vice president of corporate affairs, said with a fiber optic network, they will be able to provide speeds of two gigabytes of internet, which he said is 10 to 20 times faster than what our area’s current providers are offering.

For example, you’d be able to download an HD movie in less than a minute.  Plus, download and upload speeds would be symmetrical or equal.

“We’re going to create jobs here in the Chippewa Valley and we’re going to change people’s ability to work from home, to school from home, to telecommute, to do e-commerce,” Petersen said. “Fiber internet is the absolute gold standard and we’re really excited to bring it to the community.”

TDS is investing $100 million of its own capital investment money to bring fiber internet to Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, and Altoona.

City council president Terry Weld said the council appreciates folks will have another option when it comes to their internet provider.

“Providing broadband and high-speed internet and making it more accessible to everyone is huge.  It’s a big part of our day now and a big part of our life,” Weld said. “Hopefully it’s an affordable option or create more competition to bring more affordable options.”

Construction started earlier in May.  On Thursday, crews were installing fiber cables around Summer, Barland, and Winter Streets near downtown Eau Claire.

Depending on the area you live in, you may be able to start utilizing TDS services as early as August.

You can go to to see if they are available in your area and to check out their prices.

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