$24 million available to expand broadband internet to unserved, underserved areas
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Wisconsin Public Service Commission announced Tuesday $24 million in funding is available to expand high-speed broadband internet to unserved and underserved areas across the state.
The opening of the 2021 Broadband Expansion Grant round was announced by Gov. Tony Evers and the PSC chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq, according to a news release.
Gov. Evers noted that this funding is necessary to target the areas most affected by the coronavirus pandemic to get them connected. “With many working from home, some of our kids and educators doing distance learning, and accessing healthcare through telemedicine sometimes as the only option, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored how critically important broadband is to our state,” said Evers.
The PSC continued saying this is the second round of funding that was appropriated for the 2019-2021 state biennial budget. The available funding is equal to that of the 2020 grant rounds, which is currently more funding offered than all seven previous rounds combined.
The commission noted they received 143 applications requesting over $50 million during the 2020 round of funding, and they issued 72 grants in March to extend high-speed internet access. Over 3,180 businesses and 46,530 homes had their internet access extended.
Application materials can be found on the commission’s website.
Copyright 2020 WMTV. All rights reserved.