July 5, 2016
Senator Howard Marklein Joins Governor Scott Walker to Launch Broadband Forward! Community Certification to Help Rural Communities Prepare for Broadband Investment
VIROQUA, WI — State Senator Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green) joined Governor Scott Walker to officially launch Broadband Forward! at Vernon Communications Coop in Viroqua, WI. Broadband Forward! is a community certification program to give rural communities tools to prepare to seek, receive and invest in broadband technology.
“Broadband investment is a shared responsibility,” Marklein said. “Communities must prepare, plan and collaborate with telecommunications companies to bring technology to rural parts of our state. Broadband Forward! gives our communities tools to navigate these relationships.”
Sen. Marklein co-authored Broadband Forward!, or Assembly Bill (AB) 820, with Rep. Romaine Quinn (R-Rice Lake). AB 820 became Act 278 on March 26, 2016. This law creates a process by which the Public Service Commission (PSC) may certify municipalities, counties, etc. as Broadband Forward! communities. This certification includes adoption of a model ordinance and process for the application, approval and issuance of broadband network-related permits, creating a collaborative regulatory environment for communities to work with telecommunications companies.
“Broadband Forward! gives our communities a place to start,” Marklein said. “Many communities know that they need to do something, but many do not know how to begin the process. Broadband Forward! Certification helps our communities take the necessary steps to be ready for investment in broadband infrastructure and begins the conversations that will bring technology to rural parts of our state.”
Sen. Marklein joined Governor Walker, PSC Commissioner Mike Huebsch, State Broadband Director Angie Dickison and Rod Olson, CEO, Vernon Communications Coop for the launch of the certification program.
For more information on AB 820/Act 278 - http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2015/proposals/ab820