On Thursday, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC or Commission) awarded funding from the state’s Broadband Expansion Grant Program. The Commission awarded $16,601,085 for 24 projects that will expand broadband internet to 6,042 residential and 276 business locations that are underserved. The projects receiving awards will impact 19 counties. The grant awards will leverage $25,360,858 of matching funds from recipients.
In December 2022, Governor Evers and PSC Chairperson Valcq announced the opening of the new grant round with the remaining state funds available for broadband expansion from the 2021-23 biennial budget period. In February 2023, the PSC received 74 applications requesting a total of $73.7 million.
The broadband expansion grants invest in infrastructure projects for internet service in areas of the state where people need improved service. During the application review, the Commission evaluated each grant based on, among other factors, matching funds, public-private partnerships, project impact, and economic development.
Wisconsin’s Broadband Grant Program has been nationally recognized. In August 2022, the state grant program was named “Best in Class” by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) for “clear documentation of their application and award processes.” Since 2014, 458 grants have been awarded through the grant program from state and federal funding to projects impacting 71 counties.
A list of the 2023 grant recipients can be found here.