ICYMI: Evers, Biden Partner to Expand Broadband in Wisconsin
Madison, Wis. –– In January, Governor Tony Evers declared that 2021 was the year of broadband. In partnership with President Joe Biden, Democrats in Wisconsin are working to make that a reality. Earlier this year, Governor Evers directed $100 million from the American Rescue Plan to expand broadband across Wisconsin—and to build on that success, Democrats in Congress are working to pass the American Jobs Plan, which will invest another $100 billion to bring universal broadband coverage to American families.
Governor Evers knows that connecting our communities and small businesses with high-speed broadband is vital for creating opportunities across Wisconsin. In his first budget, he passed the largest broadband investment in state history, expanding access to 9,300 businesses and 150,000 homes. The governor has also used federal pandemic aid to expand broadband access to an additional 20,000 locations. Governor Evers plans to build on that investment in his Badger Bounceback budget, which includes nearly $200 million for broadband – five times the amount included in the 2013, 2015 and 2017 budgets combined.
Together, Governor Evers, President Biden, and congressional Democrats are fighting to ensure hardworking Wisconsinites from every corner of the state can have access to high speed internet.
Here’s what folks across the state are saying about Democrats’ investment in broadband:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: In Kentucky’s ‘Silicon Holler’ and Wisconsin’s Northwoods, High-Speed Internet is Creating Jobs, and Changing Lives
- “Studies have shown that in addition to enhancing education and quality of life, broadband creates jobs, boosts entrepreneurship, raises property values and ultimately creates taxpayers who contribute to the common good.”
CBS Milwaukee (WDJT): Gov. Evers Directs $100M in Federal Funds to Expand High-Speed Internet Across Wisconsin
- “Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday, May 18, that the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) will launch a round of broadband expansion funding in two weeks with $100 million in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). This is the initial batch of federal funds to be dedicated to expanding high-speed broadband internet across the state.”
Spectrum News: White House Releases $1B in Grants to Fund Broadband in Tribal Nations
- “‘Expanding broadband access would transform native communities, promote economic development, and empower Tribal Nation governments to provide critical services, including health care, education, public safety and emergency services,’ [Shannon] Holsey said.”
Wisconsin Democrats have delivered on expanding access to broadband with unprecedented federal funding, but more work needs to be done. Here’s why it is so important to pass the American Jobs Plan and continue to expand broadband:
Newsweek: State Infrastructure Will Grow Stronger With American Jobs Plan
- “This isn’t only about creating new opportunity in Michigan and Wisconsin. Here’s what the American Jobs Plan would mean across the country: 20,000 miles of highways and roads will be updated, failing bridges will be repaired or replaced and long-overdue upgrades to ports, airports and transit systems will finally happen. The plan commits to eliminating all lead pipes and service lines and bringing reliable broadband to every American, including 35 million rural Americans who currently lack access.”
The Capital Times: No Connection Available: From Rural Towns to Urban Madison, Many Still Don’t Have Fast, Reliable Internet
- “Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers declared in January that 2021 would be the ‘year of broadband access,’ saying he wants to bring every Wisconsinite ‘access to reliable, high-speed internet.’”
- “The Public Service Commission has since distributed a record-setting $28 million in state-funded grants for broadband access with plans for another $100 million round using federal aid. At the federal level, the $1.9 trillion dollar American Rescue Plan Act included broadband as a priority. Additionally, the Federal Communication Commission authorized a temporary $3.2 billion program to temporarily subsidize internet bills for low-income families and a $7.17 billion Emergency Connectivity Fund targeted at schools and libraries.”
- “Deana Zentner, chairperson for the town of Rutland, succeeded in getting the town hall connected to the internet last month. For at least a decade, her predecessors had tried and failed to find an internet provider willing to connect the rural building. Zentner calls the roughly $200,000 that Rutland received through the American Rescue Plan Act ‘a windfall.’”