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Expanding Broadband

New! Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Broadband Expansion Grants (Applications Due February 22, 2023)

The Public Service Commission is now accepting applications for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Broadband Expansion Grants. This round will make available up to $14.1 million for grants to help expand high-speed broadband Internet to unserved and underserved areas of the state. There are a few differences from the prior Broadband Expansion Grant cycles. Please visit the PSC State Broadband Expansion Grants page for application materials and information. Schools and libraries can leverage Digital Equity Data to write letters of support and pool resources with local government, non-profits, and co-operatives to provide matching funds.

Collaborate & Pool Resources:

  • DPI encourages local governments, school districts, and healthcare to pool their funds to invest in infrastructure.
  • Local government uses of pandemic funding are limited and broadband is one of the few options that qualifies and is easy to obtain approval for.
  • Federal and state funding when combined with additional long-term local public funds can help shorten return on investment.
  • Public-private partnerships can meet the goals of rural communities for high quality, high speed, affordable broadband.
  • Broadband expansion projects should future proof bandwidth capacities to address long-term needs.
  • This Funding Quick Reference Guide highlights fund sources that are available now or that will be available soon.

Watch this webinar recording from experts in the field. Hear from districts and other partners who share replicable models of fiber expansion projects. Guest speakers highlight partnerships with other public entities, including private partnerships, and using any funds that allow for broadband expansion.

Collaborating with Partners for Broadband Expansion (4/29/21) Video and Slides

Example Materials

We encourage the development of local relationships to create and manage broadband internet services through competitive bidding. School districts, towns and counties have shared models of their communications, including bids and contracts. Thank you to those that have contributed their resources to this shared collection of example materials.

Additional Resources

Please refer to Wisconsin State Statute 66.0422(2) for more information regarding local broadband expansion.

Local authorities can find additional assistance for building out these plans and resources from:

Public Service Commission

UW Extension

Regional Planning Commissions

Economic Development Commissions

For questions about this information, contact Rachel Schemelin (608) 266-5190