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Clifton broadband group moves closer to grant writing

A group of dedicated town of Clifton residents trying to bring a more reliable broadband service to their township are seeking 500 signatures showing support for their cause.

The group, named the Clifton High Speed Internet Coalition, was established in March 2017, and is currently at 402 signatures after a recent door-to-door push by members. An electronic survey has been available as well for those interested since June.

The coalition is hoping to make reliable and affordable high speed internet an option for Clifton residents who don't right now, don't have a lot of options.

Coalition member Sherry Keller said they've been in contact with Baldwin Lightstream, an internet service provider based in Baldwin, who recommended gathering at least 75 to 80 percent of township residents' signatures to include in their grant writing.

Keller said they are hoping to apply for a state grant that could help them fund a grant writer. With the help of a grant writer, the group will begin applying for federal grants, with hopes of beginning next year.

Keller said she has been approached by someone who is a grant writer, so the group is looking to speak to that individual further.

The coalition has received no negative feedback from any surveys and said it has garnered a majority of support because internet has become a necessity to many who want access to a more reliable, faster service.

Keller said the biggest reasons they need a more quality service are for individuals who work from home and the continued educational choices that are online for area children.

Clifton Township has not given the coalition any money for their cause, but Town Board Supervisor Joe Rohl has joined the coalition to help as a community member. Keller said Town Chair LeRoy Peterson is "warming up to it."

"He wants to understand it," Keller said. "Which is huge, because at the beginning, when we started this four or five months ago, he didn't want to try to understand it."

The best way to reach the coalition is through their website: On the website, the survey for those who haven't taken it is available.

Matthew Lambert

Matthew Lambert joined the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2018 covering school board, public safety, and writing features. Lambert previously wrote for the Pierce County Herald and River Falls Journal. He is a graduate of Winona State University with a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication: Journalism. 

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