Gov. Evers, PSC announce federal internet-for-all grant awards

Gov. Tony Evers, together with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC), announced the state will receive $5,952,197 to plan for the deployment and adoption of affordable, equitable, and reliable high-speed internet throughout the state. This investment, awarded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), is part of the Internet for All initiative under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden in 2021.

On Nov. 21, the NTIA awarded $5 million to the PSC’s Wisconsin Broadband Office to support the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program planning process. Wisconsin will learn its total BEAD allocation in 2023 after the federal government finalizes allocations of infrastructure funding based on the formula in the law. Using currently available data, Wisconsin could expect an allocation of $700 million to $1.1 billion for broadband expansion under BEAD.

Alongside BEAD, in September, the NTIA awarded $952,197 in Digital Equity Act funding to the PSC for the creation of a state digital equity plan. The goal of Digital Equity Act programs is to ensure all communities can access and use affordable, reliable high-speed internet to meet their needs and improve their lives. With the planning grant, Wisconsin will create a robust and inclusive five-year statewide digital equity plan that will serve as a strategic guide and implementation plan for increasing digital equity in the state and preparing for future digital equity capacity grant funding.