MADISON – The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) today announced the Broadband Infrastructure Program grant round is now open. Under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the U.S. Department of Treasury awarded Wisconsin $42 million through the Capital Projects Fund (CPF) to administer the Broadband Infrastructure Program and invest in broadband construction and deployment that will provide high-quality internet to locations that lack access to adequate, affordable service.
“We have come a long way to connect more homes and businesses to affordable, reliable internet service since the beginning of the pandemic, but barriers still exist for many in our state,” said PSC Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq. “The Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program supports the Evers Administration’s ongoing work by investing in projects that improve access to high-speed internet for communities that were most impacted by the pandemic.”
The CPF is designed to address the barriers to internet access that existed before, but were made worse by, the COVID-19 pandemic. Broadband Infrastructure Program grant funds will be used to make necessary investments in broadband infrastructure designed to provide consistent, reliable, and high-performance broadband service to areas most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in Wisconsin.
Eligible entities for the competitive grant program include internet service providers, telecommunications utilities, co-operatives, local governments, and for-profit and non-profit organizations. The funding is available to construct broadband infrastructure projects to deploy reliable internet service that will meet or exceed 100/100 Mbps symmetrical speed internet service and include at least one low-cost option for work, education, and health monitoring.
The deadline to apply is Tuesday November 7, 2023 at 1:30 pm. More information on the Capital Projects Fund can be found on the Capital Projects Broadband page on the PSC website.
The Wisconsin Broadband Office is holding two webinars for interested applicants. The Capital Projects Application Overview webinar will be held on September 8, 2023 at 11:00 am. This live webinar will walk through a basic overview of the grant program, eligible subrecipients and projects, merit criteria and how to submit grants through the new PSC Grants Management System. The “How to Map Your Capital Project” webinar will be held on September 14, 2023 at 1:00 pm. Questions for these webinars will be taken at the end of this presentation or can be sent ahead of time to PSCCapitalProjectsFund@wisconsin.gov.
An online version of this release is available here.