Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R.) and the state’s Public Service Commission have announced the award of an additional $7 million in broadband expansion grants. The 37 new grants will extend high-speed internet access to as many as 1,100 business locations and 14,000 residential locations,” according to a statement from the governor’s office. The awards must be finalized in a PSC written decision.
“Because of the truly transformative power of broadband we are awarding more than $7 million to extend high-speed internet in Wisconsin,” Gov. Walker said in a statement. “With these grants we are continuing to build on our investments into broadband throughout the state to ensure that Wisconsin families and businesses have access to technology and information they need to excel. Broadband access is revolutionizing education, health care, and business just like electrical revolutionized farming for my grandparents.”
Gov. Walker has awarded 138 broadband expansion grants totaling $20 million. The grants have been matched with $32 million in “private and local dollars to assist with the build-out of an effective communication infrastructure for Wisconsin’s rural families, small business, the telemedicine industry, and our tourism industry,” according to the governor’s office.
According to the press release, this grant round provides awards to counties that had not received previously received a grant, including Adams, Brown, Calumet, Green Lake, Lincoln, Outagamie, Racine, Richland, Sawyer, and Waushara counties.
The grant applications that were approved include: a grant of $314,388 to Amherst Telephone Company to build a fiber to the premises service to an additional 154 homes and businesses in Portage County; $519,824 to Bloomer Telephone Company to complete the build out of fiber service to residential locations in the Bloomer School District; $240,000 to LaValle Telephone Cooperative for a fiber project that will pass six businesses and 95 homes; $257,898 to Price County Telephone Company to build 11 miles of new fiber; $375,868 to TDS Telecom to improve DSL service in the town of Beetown and by building 7.8 miles of new fiber; $372,223 to Charter Communications to extend cable facilities in the town of King; and $309,294 to Vernon Communications Cooperative to complete Phase III of the company’s fiber build out within the Viroqua telephone exchange. —Carrie DeLeon, firstname.lastname@example.org