Gov. Evers announces more than $5 million in funding for broadband

On Wednesday, Gov. Evers announced more than $5 million of funding from the CARES act will go toward the expansion of high-speed, broadband internet. The broadband expansion grants aim to encourage the deployment of broadband in unserved and underserved areas of the state.

“This pandemic further illustrates the need for additional funding to expand broadband," said Gov. Evers. "These dollars, along with our investments from the budget that I signed last year, will ensure that we are maximizing our expansion efforts to get folks connected."

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) will award funding applicants of the 2020 broadband expansion grants who did not already receive funding. The applicants must also be able to connect customers by December 30, 2020 and satisfy the requirements of the federal CARES Act.

“I commit that we at the PSC will get this funding out quickly so projects can start construction as soon as possible,” said PSC Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq.

In addition to the CARES funding, the PSC will also accept applications for a second round of $24 million in grants appropriated by the 2019-2021 state biennial budget. That application period closes December 1, and is expected to be awarded in spring of 2021.

Since 2014, 210 grants have been awarded. Thanks to the grants, over 7,000 businesses and 117,000 homes are being connected to high-speed broadband internet service.

The CARES Act funding is expected to be awarded to projects at an open meeting of the PSC in October. A list of project applicants will be made available on the PSC website in advance of that meeting.

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