Wisconsin could receive up to $1.2 Billion to expand broadband coverage where service is lacking

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Wisconsin government and industry stakeholders met to discuss how the state can best spend up to $1.2 billion Wisconsin may receive for expanding high-speed internet. The funding comes as around 1.3 million people in Wisconsin still can’t access or afford broadband service. Around 650,000 residents lack access to high-speed internet or speeds of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. The Wisconsin Broadband Office also estimates another 650,000 people statewide can’t afford broadband. However, Wisconsin could receive anywhere from $700 million to $1.2 billion as part of grants available through the Broadband Equity, Access & Deployment (BEAD) program. Wisconsin’s share of funding will be based on Federal Communications Commission maps, which have been criticized for containing incomplete data. Until recently, the FCC has been collecting data on the number of people served by census blocks. If even one person had high-speed internet within a block, the entire census tract was considered to have access to broadband coverage. Wisconsin is also set to receive up to $30 million over the next five years under a state capacity grant program through the Digital Equity Act.

Wisconsin could receive up to $1.2B to expand broadband coverage where service is lacking