Requests For Broadband Grants Were Fivefold Available Amount

Gov. Tony Evers, together with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC), announced the Wisconsin Broadband Office received 124 applications requesting $221.6 million for the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program. PSC is expected to award up to $42 million under the American Rescue Plan Act’s Capital Projects Fund (CPF). They will invest in broadband construction that will provide high-quality internet to locations that lack access to adequate, affordable service. The ratio of requested funding to available funding is the highest for any grant round since the first in 2014.

“The Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program will help build upon our progress to connect over 395,000 homes and businesses to new or improved high-speed internet,” said Gov. Evers. “That said, clearly, the need far outweighs the resources available. We must keep making meaningful state investments to prioritize and invest in the robust broadband infrastructure needed to meet our state’s 21st-century needs.”

During the application review, PSC will evaluate each grant based on affordability of service, project design and technology. It will also be based on applicant capacity to complete the work and community engagement and support. PSC is expected to announce grant recipients by spring 2024.

Since 2019, Gov. Evers has allocated more than $345 million in state and federal funds to expand high-speed internet. More work remains as, according to the most recent estimates from the Federal Communications Commission, there are more than 251,000 unserved locations and more than 211,000 underserved locations in the state.

A list of Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program applicants is available here. A flag map of proposed project areas is available here.

More information on the Capital Projects Fund can be found on the Capital Projects Broadband page on the PSC website.