MADISON, WI -- Senator Rob Stafsholt (R - New Richmond) issued the following statement in response to Public Service Commission’s (PSC) recent approval of a broadband access grants:
"Improving access to high-quality broadband has been one of my top priorities since the first time I was elected. In order for rural areas to live up to their full economic potential, they must have access to high-quality broadband. Without access, rural areas will be left behind. Families and businesses should have reliable internet available no matter where they choose to live and work."
"During the 2021-23 State Budget, I aggressively pursued ways to increase broadband access to unserved areas in rural Wisconsin. As a result, there was $129 million included for the Broadband Expansion Grant program. I was proud to vote for the funding increase and I will continue to push for those funds to go to unserved areas in the 10th Senate District."
“Throughout the pandemic, it was emphasized just how much broadband affects our lives in everything from small businesses, people working from home, kids trying to do their homework or just communicating with friends and families.”
As part of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was passed by Congress and allocated funds to states during the pandemic, Wisconsin has directed $100 million in funding that will be used to fund projects that expand high-speed broadband to underserved areas. This is one-time funding that was made available for rural communities to apply for broadband expansion grants. PSC awarded $99,932,502 for 83 projects that will expand broadband to more than 28,426 residential and 1,490 business locations currently unserved and underserved. The projects receiving awards are located in 40 counties and 3 tribal lands. The grant awardees will provide matching funds of $101,942,388.
“I am pleased by the amount of funding that has been awarded to projects in the 10th Senate District. These projects will go a long ways in providing broadband access. As your Senator, I will continue to aggressively fight for more funding for unserved rural areas. It is an honor to represent you and I remain committed to being your voice in Madison."
The following projects in the 10th Senate District have been awarded grants:
- Town of Lucas, Dunn County (24-7 Telcom, Inc) - $857,915
- 13 businesses and 240 residential locations
- Town of Menomonie, Dunn County (24-7 Telcom, Inc) - $1,069,815
- 15 businesses and 286 residential locations
- Town of Stanton, Dunn County (24-7 Telcom, Inc) - $1,506,790
- 16 businesses and 313 residential locations
- Town of Anderson, Burnett County (Grantsburg Telcom) - $223,530
- 45 residential locations
- Town of Sterling, Polk County (Grantsburg Telcom) - $403,324
- 102 residential locations
- Glenwood City, St. Croix County (Nextgen Broadband) - $2,130,629
- Villages of Boyceville & Downing, Dunn County
- 102 businesses and 1036 residential locations
- Town of Alden, Polk County (Northwest Communications) - $333,200
- 7 businesses and 300 residential locations
- Little Falls, Joel, Lykens, Wanderoos, & Deronda, Polk County (Northwest Communications) - $980,000
- 18 businesses and 668 residential locations
- City of River Falls, Pierce/St. Croix Counties (Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services) -$804,340
- Towns of Kinnickinnic & River Falls, Pierce/St. Croix Counties
- 14 businesses and 360 residential locations
- Town of Lorain, Polk County (Starwire Technologies) - $540,057
- 17 businesses and 149 residential locations