Sen. Smith’s Statement on Broadband Connectors Pilot Program Cohort Selection

MADISON – Today Governor Tony Evers, in partnership with the Public Service Commission and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, announced the six communities that were selected for the new Broadband Connectors Pilot program cohort. According to Governor Evers’ office, the Broadband Connectors Pilot program “will help provide technical assistance to help these communities apply for federal, state, and private-sector broadband expansion funds.”

The communities selected for the pilot program include Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, Ho-Chunk Nation, School District of Owen-Withee, Town of Cross in Buffalo County, St Croix County and Fond du Lac County.

“It’s great to see the communities selected to be a part of the Broadband Connector Pilot Program cohort, including the communities within the 31st Senate District,” said Senator Jeff Smith (D – Brunswick). “Broadband expansion continues to be a top priority for many of our neighbors and community members – it’s clear from today’s announcement that Governor Evers is listening to the people of western Wisconsin.”

I know there remains to be a high demand for assistance from local governments, tribal nations and school districts to expand broadband. I’m pleased to know this program will provide critical support to help these communities and build capacity to help more of our rural areas.

Broadband expansion is critical for Wisconsin’s growth and economic development. I stand alongside Governor Evers in recognizing the urgency and importance of broadband expansion and continuing to work to achieve this goal.”

Today’s announcement once again upholds Governor Evers’ record of expanding broadband in Wisconsin. The 2019-21 biennial budget included $48 million to grow the Broadband Expansion grant program, which is the largest investment made toward improving broadband expansion in the state’s history. In September, Governor Tony Evers announced more than $5 million from CARES Act funding to further expand broadband in Wisconsin. And at this time, PSC is currently accepting applications for a second round of broadband expansion grants, until December 1st.