Evers announced $5 million for broadband expansion

MADISON, Wis. (WISC) — Gov. Tony Evers announced Wednesday more than $5 million in CARES Act funding to expand high-speed, broadband internet.

“This pandemic further illustrates the need for additional funding to expand broadband. These dollars, along with our investments from the budget that I signed last year, will ensure that we are maximizing our expansion efforts to get folks connected,” Evers said.

The funding will be awarded by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, which houses the state Broadband Office. Wisconsin’s Broadband Office runs the Broadband Expansion Grant Program that provides funding for organizations, internet service providers and local governments to expand internet connection in underserved and unserved areas.

The funding from the CARES Act will be distributed to 2020 broadband expansion grant applicants who did not already receive funding. Roughly 143 organizations applied this year to receive funding for internet projects throughout the state, surpassing the $24 million allocated for projects in 2020 by more than $25 million.

Applicants must be able to connect customers by Dec. 30 to meet the requirements set by the federal CARES Act, according to a news release.

CARES Act funding is expected to be awarded to projects in October.