Wisconsin’s Gov. Tony Evers set a goal to provide all homes and businesses in the state with high-speed internet by 2025, especially in unserved and underserved areas. And just a few weeks ago, $48 million was allotted to Wisconsin’s Broadband Expansion Grant Program, reported the Daily Citizen. Over the past six years, the state invested $20 million in the program, funding 138 projects.
According to Rebecca Cameron Valcq, chairwoman of Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, “The hope is that we can get additional providers out to the rural areas where people need it and they need it badly. Twenty years ago when you talked about broadband, it was considered a luxury, but now it’s a necessity — farms rely heavily on internet, tourism depends on it and schools are using digital content now more than ever.”
Grants are awarded to private entities who can partner with local communities to extend broadband service into different parts of the state. Application materials for the next grant cycle will come out in September, and the normal process takes about six months, according to the Daily Citizen.
Improved broadband access is already established in 63 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, but according to Cameron Valcq, there are still, “underserved in every single county in the state.” Cameron Valcq added that the grant program is an effort to get providers to go that last quarter mile.
July 22, 2019