The state will use funding through the Capital Projects Fund to connect more than 8,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin applauded an announcement from the U.S. Department of the Treasury that Wisconsin will receive over $40 million in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to expedite Wisconsin’s efforts to expand access to high-speed internet across the state. The federal funding will support Governor Evers’ plan to use the funding to connect more than 8,000 homes and businesses to affordable, high-speed internet. The federal funding will come to Wisconsin from Treasury’s Capital Projects Fund (CPF).
“I voted for the American Rescue Plan because it has helped us build a stronger economy in Wisconsin and make a real difference in people’s lives,” said Senator Baldwin. “Affordable and reliable high-speed internet is essential to Wisconsin families, students, small businesses, and farmers. This investment from the Biden Administration will help us connect more homes and businesses and close the digital divide so more Wisconsinites can get the telehealth they need, work from home, and participate in remote learning.”
The plan submitted to Treasury by Governor Evers and being approved represents 21% of the state’s total allocation under the CPF program. The state’s award will fund the Wisconsin Broadband Infrastructure Projects program, a competitive grant program that aims to invest in broadband infrastructure projects designed to provide consistent, reliable service to households that currently lack consistent speeds of 100/20 Mbps. The program is designed to provide internet service with speeds of 100/100 Mbps symmetrical to locations upon project completion. The funding will be invested in grants and planning resources awarded by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) to internet service providers to bring high-speed broadband infrastructure to unserved and underserved locations throughout the state. Treasury has indicated that the goal of the funding is to expand the availability of reliable, affordable broadband infrastructure and other digital connectivity technology through critical capital projects.
Wisconsin submitted plans for the remainder of their CPF funds and these plans are currently under review by Treasury and expected to be approved and announced at a later date. Wisconsin’s CPF funds will complement $100 million in American Rescue Plan funds the state has already committed for its State Broadband Expansion Grant Program using a portion of its State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund allocation, which it estimates will serve more than 31,000 residential and business locations.