Investment comes after Baldwin successfully “Badgered the FCC” to improve broadband map and ensure Wisconsin gets its fair share of resources
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On June 26th, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) announced that Wisconsin is receiving $1.05 billion in federal funds through the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment (BEAD) program to connect more Wisconsinites to high-speed internet. Funding comes after Senator Baldwin successfully pushed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to release an updated National Broadband Map that provided a more reliable and accurate depiction of broadband availability across Wisconsin. The BEAD program was established by the Baldwin-supported Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to expand high-speed internet access to areas currently unserved or underserved by funding planning, infrastructure deployment, and adoption programs.
“I voted for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law because it is helping deliver affordable, reliable high-speed internet to Wisconsin families, students, small businesses, and farmers,” said Senator Baldwin. “No matter where you live in the state, you deserve access to reliable high-speed broadband, and these resources will help us do that. This investment will help close the digital divide so Wisconsinites can fully participate in the economy, kids can get the education they deserve, and families can connect with people across the world. This is an investment in our Wisconsin families. This is an investment in our Made in Wisconsin economy. And this is an investment in our future – and I am proud to help deliver it.”
“Nearly everything about our way of life in this day and age depends upon access to reliable, high-speed internet, and we have work to do to ensure our infrastructure, our workforce, and our economy are prepared for the 21st century,” said Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. “I’m proud that no administration in state history has done more than we have to expand access to reliable, affordable high-speed internet in Wisconsin, and thanks to this more than $1 billion investment from the Biden Administration and the NTIA, we’ll be able to build upon our progress in getting folks connected and closing the digital divide in every corner of our state.”
“In today’s world, high-speed internet is no longer a luxury—it is a necessity for modern life, whether it’s accessing healthcare, education, employment, or staying connected to loved ones,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Thanks to the leadership of Senator Baldwin and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we’re bringing access to everyone in Wisconsin, and will enable them to access healthcare, education, and employment opportunities without leaving their homes.”
The funding allocation relies on the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) National Broadband Map to determine areas of need and investment. After hearing from Wisconsin community members and stakeholders of inaccurate data in the FCC’s original National Broadband Map, Senator Baldwin successfully “badgered the FCC” – after repeated calls – to correct the map’s broadband availability information to ensure Wisconsin gets its fair share of federal broadband funding in the future.
Under the program, Wisconsin will receive $1,055,823,573.71. The funding will be awarded to the state in two stages. First, 20% of the state’s allocation will be awarded with initial competitive subgrants expected in the summer of 2024. In 2025, the remaining 80% of the state’s allocation is expected to be awarded and the state will be principally responsible for administering awarded funds, with priority going to projects that bring broadband to unserved households and businesses lacking access to high-speed internet.