Gov. Evers announces first round of 2020 broadband expansion grants
Application materials available, due Dec. 19
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Co-Editor
SPOONER – Governor Tony Evers announced last Wednesday the first round of broadband grants appropriated in the 2019-2021 budget. The initial $24 million grant round is the largest Wisconsin has ever seen, topping the total of the previous seven rounds put together.
“Wisconsin lags behind the national average when it comes to getting our people access to broadband internet,” Evers said in a press release from Sept. 4. “This investment demonstrates our strong commitment to connecting the underserved areas of our state.”
The state budget, signed by Evers earlier this year, allocates $48 million over the biennium for broadband expansion grants, more than double that had been awarded in all previous years combined. Additional grant rounds will be announced in 2020.
The goal of the broadband expansion grants is to “help private companies find a path to return on investment in areas of the state that are challenging to serve,” the release states. “Since 2014, 138 grants have been awarded, and have connected or are in the process of connecting over 4,000 businesses and 75,000 homes to high-speed broadband internet service.”
Grant application materials can be found at https://psc.wi.gov/Pages/Programs/BroadbandGrants.aspx and are due by 4 p.m. on Dec. 19.