Creating Connected Aging Communities in Rural Wisconsin

02/20/2017 Aging, pilot, Rural Broadband, Wisconsin by j.smith

Request for Community Partnership

For the past year University of Wisconsin-Extension Broadband & E-Commerce Education Center has been reviewing research, conducting focus groups and exploring what it means to be a community that truly utilizes technology to ensure independent living by its most senior citizens.  Our next step is test out what we have learned, developing community models that utilize broadband and technological advances. 

By working with two selected communities, clear models of success will emerge providing roadmaps for other rural communities to pursue.

What we’re looking for  a Community with:

  • A significant percent of citizens 65 and above that are longtime residents that want to remain living in the area throughout retirement
  • A demonstrated desire to assist senior citizens to remain active and living independently as long as possible and a two year commitment to the partnership
  • A group of local stakeholders that understand the opportunity that technology and broadband brings for elderly and has a “guiding coalition”; a cross section of human service professionals, technological savvy people & community leaders who can make decisions, including representation from healthcare and local government with a potential “local champion” to lead the effort identified.
  • A significant degree of connectivity (a minimum of 10 mgs) and a local provider who is open to a partnership to expand current service and willing to serve on the local coalition.
  • Excitement about being part of an innovative process for creating new models of service for senior citizens that could be replicated by other rural communities.
  • Knowledge and/or expressed interest in learning about broadband connectivity in the area including access and adoption and the economic impact it can have.
  • Commitment to participate in education & training events ( 3 planned in year one, and two in year two) and bi-weekly pilot audio calls, teleconferences or meetings.
  • Agreement to work closely with UWEX to fulfill grant reporting requirements and project evaluation efforts.


Benefits for Partnering

  • A Connected Aging Community Road Map with assistance to establish a Community Vision that is sustainable.
  • Guidance and support to create best local planning throughout the endeavor provided by UWEX staff with expertise in broadband planning, community and economic development and leadership development.
  • Seed money to kick-start the effort (an amount of $7000.00) to be utilized as the Primary Local Champion and coalition.
  • Access to UW assets and the power & expertise to leverage them throughout the two year pilot and beyond. 
  • Opportunity to learn from the other pilot community and eventually be showcased as a model for others around the state
  • Networking & learning opportunities with other pilot community and other communities engaged in broadband adoption and meaningful use endeavors.
  • Sustainable adoption planning and provision of UWEX expertise & support throughout the effort

To Participate

Send a letter briefly describing how you would meet the criteria we have outlined by March 15 to:

Gail Huycke, Project Director Broadband Education Center

University of Wisconsin – Extension 

476 South Argyle Avenue
Phillips, WI  54555


Shortly after you will be contacted to determine next steps.  The goal is to have pilot communities selected by April 1.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *