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Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Access: high-speed broadband is a necessity

Thursday, July 16, 2020

On July 14, Governor Evers announced the creation of the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Access, responding to the need for everyone in Wisconsin to have access to fast, reliable, affordable internet service. Evers said, “The COVID-19 pandemic underscored that access to high-speed broadband is a necessity, not a luxury, and folks across our state have had to adapt – from kids and educators shifting to virtual classrooms, workers having to work from home, and even folks using telemedicine to visit with their doctor.”

There are 24 task force members, including Kurt Kiefer, Assistant State Superintendent at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction; representatives of telecommunications providers; state senators and representatives; economic and community development officials; health care leaders; IT directors; and education advocates.

The Task Force is directed to:

  • Research and recommend forward-looking broadband policies and initiatives
  • Promote expansion of broadband facilities and adoption across the state
  • Report to the Governor and Legislature, annually by June 30, on:
    • Recommendations for deployment of broadband in Wisconsin
    • Digital inclusion and strategies for addressing gaps and inequities
    • Opportunities for coordination among state, local, and federal agencies
    • Needs, barriers, and goals regarding broadband access, affordability, and adoption
    • Innovative approaches and partnerships to expand broadband adoption
    • The role of broadband in:
      • education
      • healthcare
      • agriculture
      • manufacturing
      • industry
      • Tribal Nations
      • energy
      • libraries
      • public safety
      • tourism
    • The extent to which stakeholders have accessed federal Universal Service Funds
    • Advances in broadband technology
    • The adequacy and appropriateness of existing statutory broadband goals
    • Top priority broadband issues, presented in technical or white papers

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For questions about this information, contact Bill Herman