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Public Service Commission looks to expand broadband with CARES Act funding

Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 4:35 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - In 2020, the Wisconsin’s Public Service Commission (PSC) gave out 72 grants to extend high-speed internet throughout the state.

However, that was not enough for everyone.

The PSC and Wisconsin Broadband Office have put together a map of communities that are not served and under-served in Wisconsin. The map shows many large patches of those areas spread through the NBC15 viewing area.

To further address this digital divide, Gov. Tony Evers set aside $5 million from the coronavirus relief funding, also known as the CARES Act, to expand broadband.

The PSC will meet Thursday and award this money to some programs who were not chosen for the 2020 grants earlier this year.

“They’ll be taking up those proposals and looking at which one’s they think are viable and which ones are ready to go and reasonably can be done by the end of the calendar year, but that’s a choice that they commissioners will discuss at the open meeting,” Jaron McCallum, the State Broadband Director, said.

The commission hopes to have an estimate of how many people they will reach by the end of the year after Thursday’s meeting.

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