New investment in broadband expansion 'an equalizing opportunity' for Wisconsin's rural communities

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Leaders from the Biden Administration said access to high-speed internet will bring opportunity and dignity for residents of rural communities in Wisconsin and across the country. Tom Perez, White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, and Don Graves, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce, visited Dairyland Power Cooperative in La Crosse (WI) on November 30 to talk about federal money for broadband infrastructure. Dairyland is one of the recipients of the Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Grant, a program created through the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The power cooperative received nearly $15 million in June 2023 to retrofit 240 miles of transmission lines with fiber optic cable for broadband over three years. CEO Brent Ridge said the funding has allowed Dairyland to "accelerate projects that would have been done eventually, but far too late." Chris McArdle Rojo, La Crosse County (WI) Library Director, spoke in a roundtable discussion on the ripple effects of broadband access, and said the growing expansion of broadband represents a first step in bringing new life to rural communities. 

New investment in broadband expansion 'an equalizing opportunity' for state's rural communities