Over 1,000 businesses getting high-speed internet

Over 1,000 businesses in the state are getting connected to high-speed internet, thanks to $7 million in recently announced broadband expansion grants.

“Broadband access is revolutionizing education, health care, and business just like electrical revolutionized farming for my grandparents,” Gov. Scott Walker said in a release.

In total, 37 grants are going to companies, school districts and cooperatives from across the state. In addition to the businesses being connected, 14,000 residential locations are also being hooked up to broadband.

“With these grants we are continuing to build on our investments into broadband throughout the state to ensure that Wisconsin families and businesses have access to technology and information they need to excel,” Walker said.

The state has awarded 138 broadband expansion grants totaling $20 million under Walker, and those grants have been matched with $32 million more from private sources and local communities.

This time around, 10 counties are getting grants for the first time: Adams, Brown, Calumet, Green Lake, Lincoln, Outagamie, Racine, Richland, Sawyer and Waushara counties.

The awards, announced late last week, are preliminary. They can only be approved after a written decision from the Public Service Commission and a 10-day appeal process, according to a release from the guv’s office.

Individual awards range from just under $14,000 to over $500,000. Some of the higher-end awards build on previous projects to develop more advanced infrastructure.

Recipients of the largest multi-phase awards include:

*Chequamegon Communications Cooperative, in Bayfield County. The $640,000 award supports connecting nine businesses and 727 residences.

*Bloomer Telephone Company Bloomer School District, in the Towns of Woodmohr, Eagle Point and Cleveland. The $519,824 award will connect four businesses and 251 homes.

*Amherst Telephone Company, in the Towns of Hull and Dewey. The $314,388 project will connect 154 homes and businesses.

*Vernons Communications Cooperative, in Vernon County. The $309,294 award will help connect 20 businesses and 144 homes.

*Cochrane Cooperative Telephone Company, in Buffalo County. The $300,275 award will connect 11 businesses and 84 residences.

*Whitewater Wideband, in Walworth County. The $217,952 award will connect 61 businesses and 534 homes.

See the full list here: http://www.wispolitics.com/2018/gov-walker-awards-7-million-in-broadband-expansion-grants/