For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                                   Contact:  Rep. Paul Tittl

May 2, 2017                                                                                                                                                                    (608) 266-0315

Rep. Tittl Supports Broadband Expansion

State Representative Paul Tittl (R-Manitowoc) voted to expand internet access to underserved areas of the state during the Assembly session on Tuesday. Assembly Bill 123/Senate Bill 49 invests $15.5 million more into broadband expansion and sets specific parameters for the grant program to ensure that the money goes where it’s needed the most.

“My district has struggled getting broadband coverage in certain areas, and I know we’re not the only ones,” said Rep. Tittl. “We can’t have areas of our state in the dark ages; our rural areas need strong internet connections as well.”

Broadband expansion was a priority in the Assembly Republican Forward Agenda and part of the Rural Wisconsin Initiative, a package of legislation brought forward by rural members of the Assembly. The bill passed today in the Assembly and will now go to the Senate, where a similar bill has already received approval.

“Broadband access is a key component of economic development,” said Rep. Tittl. “We took a step forward today.”

The legislation also expands technology grants for schools in rural areas through a program called TEACH or Technology Educational Achievement program. The bill continues the program for another two years, allows for more small school districts to be eligible and invests $7.5 million into the grants.

“Reliable broadband is integral to our educational system today. It’s important that we equip our children to function in a digital age, and that starts with broadband,” Rep. Tittl said.