MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday that the state will be using $100 million in federal coronavirus stimulus funding to award grants for expanding broadband internet access in Wisconsin.
The federal funding is in addition to nearly $200 million in broadband expansion proposals Evers made in his state budget, which is pending before the Republican-controlled Legislature.
Evers said the Wisconsin Public Service Commission will award the $100 million in federal funding based on a model similar to an existing broadband expansion grant program.
Applications will be made available June 1, along with more details about the grants, with a deadline of July 27.
Evers said the federal money, combined with what he’s proposing in the state budget, will be a “major step forward connecting everyone in our state.”
The federal money for broadband expansion is to be targeted to projects that benefit unserved or underserved households and businesses in the state.
The Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee has not taken up Evers’ broadband plan yet. Committee co-chair Sen. Howard Marklein said Tuesday that the governor’s plan is still being discussed but he believed there was a need for state funding in addition to the federal money for broadband.