Governor Scott Walker joined the Public Service Commission (PSC) in announcing $1,500,000 in Broadband Expansion Grants, awarded to 13 projects in underserved areas throughout the state. Matching funds for these projects amounted to $2,310,475.60 for a total of $3,810,475.60 in broadband infrastructure investment.
The Broadband Expansion Grants provide reimbursement for equipment and construction expenses incurred by efforts to extend or improve broadband telecommunications services in underserved regions of Wisconsin.
“As broadband continues to become an increasingly integral part of our lives, I know that Wisconsin businesses and families will be well-served by these continued investments,” said Governor Walker. “Internet access is a critical component of education, telemedicine, e-commerce, agribusiness, and tourism, just to name a few. No corner of our state can be left behind.”
Governor Walker created the Broadband Expansion Grant Program in the 2013-15 biennial budget and increased funding for the grants in the 2015-17 biennial budget from $500,000 to $1.5 million annually. The Governor’s proposed 2017-19 biennial budget provides $11 million more for the program over the next several years. Recipients include:
24-7 Telcom ($153,500) – This project proposes to build a fiber-to-the-home service past 120 homes and businesses located southwest of the City of Menomonie in Dunn County.
Amherst Telephone Company ($170,000) – This project proposes to build a fiber to the home service in rural Portage County, northeast of Stevens Point. The 18 mile fiber route will build past 207 residential and business locations in the Towns of Hull and Dewey.
CenturyTel of the Midwest – Kendall, LLC d/b/a CenturyLink ($167,300) – This project proposes to build a 9-mile fiber route in the central and northeast portion of the City of Baraboo. The route will pass 478 locations (13 businesses and 465 residences) in the underserved portion of the project area.
ChoiceTel LLC ($72,846.40) – This project proposes to complete the construction of a fiber to the home service in the Town of Land O’Lakes in Vilas County, authorized in 3 grants in FY 2016, 2017 and 2018. When construction finishes in 2019, ChoiceTel will have buried over 60 miles of fiber optic cable along the main roads and side roads in the township, and will have connected over 1,000 customers to fiber to the home service.
Florence County ($66,712) – This project proposes to deploy a fixed wireless service from 3 towers in Florence County.
MH Telecom, LLC d/b/a MHTC ($126,162) – This project proposes to build a fiber backbone and fixed wireless service in rural areas of Iowa County.
Oneida County Economic Development Corporation ($45,000) – This project proposes to build two additional towers in rural portions of Oneida County.
Somerset Telephone Company ($90,000) – This project proposes to build a fiber to the home service to 129 locations in St. Croix County.
SonicNet Inc. ($6,746.47) – This project proposes to install a fixed wireless service on a county-owned tower in the Town of Conover in Vilas County. The project will also build microwave links to other SonicNet tower locations.
Black Earth Telephone Company d/b/a TDS Telecom ($285,917.20) – This project proposes to build a DSL service to 307 locations in the Town of Vermont south of the Village of Black Earth in Dane County. Town of Dunn ($106,395.18) – This project proposes to build a Charter Communications cable facility to 103 homes in the vicinity of Hawkinson Road in the Town of Dunn in Dane County.
Vernon Communications Cooperative ($176,587) – This project proposes to build a combination of fiber to the home and fixed wireless services to 530 locations in Vernon County.
Waupaca Online ($32,815.75) – This project proposes to build a fixed wireless service to the home service to 324 locations in northern Waupaca County.