Wisconsin State Broadband Office

Wisconsin State Broadband Office Overview

Wisconsin Broadband Grant Award Status

BEAD: $1.06 B

Wisconsin 5 Year Plan
Initial Proposal v1
Challenge Window
Initial Proposal v2
Application Window
Awards Announced

Treasury Capital Projects Fund: $189.4 M

Treasury Approved
Application Window
Awards Announced

Broadband Office Name:
Public Service Commission (Broadband Forward!)

Wisconsin Broadband Director

Alyssa Kenney

About Public Service Commission (Broadband Forward!)

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers declared 2021 "the year of broadband access," in his state of the state speech at the beginning of the year. Since then, Wisconsin put into motion plans to massively scale up access to high speed Internet networks.

The state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) oversees broadband grants.

Broadband Expansion grant application information is available here. The deadline for applying for the grants is 4 p.m. CT, Thursday, March 17, 2022 . $100 million is available. This round of funding comes from state funds.

In June, the PSC opened up its American Rescue Plan Broadband Access Grant program, which also offered up $100 million. The program follows the Treasury's interim final rule and guidelines. The PSC received 242 applications that requested more than $440 million for internet expansion, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.

Wisconsin has developed its own statewide broadband maps with different layers to show how Wisconsin is or isn't, being served with high speed Internet access. Grants applicants can also see map coverage of preliminary broadband expansion grant "unserved" and "underserved" areas as defined by the U.S. Treasury Department. However, the PSC has stipulated that upon completion, the proposed service should offer at least 100x100 Mbps service.

The Governor's Taskforce on Broadband access released a report this June with recommendations and strategies on how to expand broadband access in the state. The report contains timelines and goals for specific kinds of broadband network rollout guidelines

From the report, which included recommendations to:

  • Increase funding for the Broadband Expansion Grant Program to help offset the costs for internet service providers and other applicants to serve difficult to reach areas
  • Establish a State Internet Assistance Program to lower the cost to obtain service and aid low-income families in sustaining internet service;
  • Create a Planning and Implementation Grants Program to help regions and communities plan for broadband expansion
  • Increase construction and permitting coordination to streamline the process for providers to expand in a community -Collect internet access data from all ISPs at a household and business level of granularity to clarify who has reliable, high-speed access; -ncrease broadband consumer protections and pricing transparency so that people know what service they should expect and get what they are paying for
  • Develop and fund a Statewide Digital Navigator program to assist people who are underserved due to inadequate service and solve a wide range of internet adoption issues.

The PSC estimates that more than 670,000 Wisconsin residents don't have access to 25x3 Mbps service.
Governor Evers has also funneled federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) and ARPA to PSC to award more than $105.3 million for 94 projects in more than 42 counties and three tribal communities.

His office claims that altogether, all this is going to result in more than 300,000 homes and businesses getting new or improved broadband services.

Wisconsin Broadband Articles

Wisconsin Broadband Investment Maps

Wisconsin broadband investment map ready strength rank

Wisconsin Map of Ready Strength Rank

Wisconsin broadband investment map yield on cost

Wisconsin Yield on Cost Maps

Wisconsin broadband investment pricing and competition map

Wisconsin Pricing & Competition Map

Wisconsin broadband investment map business establishments

Wisconsin Map of Business Establishments in Underserved Areas

Wisconsin broadband investment map small business establishments

Wisconsin Small Business Establishments Map

Wisconsin broadband investment map REC coverage

Wisconsin Rural Electric Cooperative (REC) Coverage Map

Wisconsin broadband investment map anchor institutions

Wisconsin Map of Anchor Institutions

Wisconsin broadband investment map provider coverage

Wisconsin Provider Coverage Maps

Wisconsin broadband investment map BSLs

Map of Wisconsin Broadband Serviceable Locations