Broadband Expands To Rural Wisconsin

Offering broadband in rural Wisconsin has always been a challenge, but the state has been actively trying to reach underserved or unserved areas during the pandemic. 

Brett Schuppner, Utility General Manager for Reedsburg, WI, says a challenge with expanding broadband is generating a return with far fewer customers in rural areas, and product shortages that exist because of supply chain disruptions.

In harder to build, high cost, and low density areas, Schuppner says funding from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other state or federal sources is critical in getting projects off the ground. For Reedsburg specifically, they are currently investing $36 million to expand service to 4,500 additional homes, farms, and businesses, impacting Sauk, Richland, Juneau and Iowa County.

The Public Service Commission recently headed a task force to create a broadband report to bring to Governor Tony Evers, suggesting projects like these to help expand broadband access across the state.