Gov. Walker: Announces $7.68 million in Preliminary Broadband Expansion Grants to connect 46 rural communities 

Contact: Amy Hasenberg, (608) 266-2839

MADISON – Governor Scott Walker today announced the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) has awarded the largest round of Broadband Expansion Grants in state history with $7.68 million in total preliminary awards leveraged to $19,468,725 in private matching funds. 46 new grants have been awarded to extend high-speed internet access to as many as 1,600 business locations and 18,000 residential locations. The awards announced today are preliminary and will be finalized upon the issuance of the Commission’s written decision and the expiration of a 10-day appeal process. In addition, Governor Walker announced the opening of application process for next round of grants.
“Broadband has endless potential to help Wisconsin communities,” said Governor Walker. “Years ago, electricity revolutionized farming for my grandparents. Today broadband is revolutionizing education, health care, and business, and improving the quality of life for Wisconsin’s rural residents. With this historic round of Broadband Expansion Grants, we are another step closer to connecting every Wisconsin community.”

In this budget, Governor Walker increased total broadband investments by $35 million and created a permanent Broadband Expansion Grant program. Prior to today’s awards, the PSC has awarded 55 Broadband Expansion Grants totaling $5,452,000 since Governor Walker took office.

Among the projects approved today are three projects that will test the new TV White Space technology proposed by Packerland Broadband and Microsoft Corporation, and two additional projects that will create improved internet service for work at home in Buffalo and Walworth Counties.

Other projects include the build out of broadband services in some of the most rural areas of the state in an effort to provide a communication infrastructure for Wisconsin’s rural families, businesses, and tourism industry.

The grant applications approved today can be found below:

24-7 Telcom Town of Rock Creek project – $70,000 (grant award). This project will build a fiber to the premises service past 33 homes and businesses located adjacent to Caryville, in Dunn County.
24-7 Telcom Town of Weston project – $120,000. This project will build a fiber to the premises service past 37 homes and businesses located southwest of the City of Menomonie in Dunn County.
Amery Telcom, Inc. d/b/a Northwest Communications – $80,000. This project will build a fiber to the premises service past 150 homes and businesses located in the Town of Apple River in Polk County.
Northwest Community Communications, Inc. d/b/a Northwest Communications – $160,000. This project proposes to build a fiber to the premises service past 260 homes and businesses located on the east side of Bass Lake in the Town of Saint Joseph in St. Croix County.
Somerset Telephone Company, Inc. d/b/a Northwest Communications – $99,000. This project proposes to build a fiber to the premises service past 163 homes and businesses located in the Town of Somerset in St. Croix County.
Amherst Telephone Company – $314,854. This project proposes to build a fiber to the premises service past 154 homes and businesses located in the Town of Bevent in Marathon County and in the Town of Sharon in Portage County.
Bertram Communications, LLC – $600,000. This project proposes to build a fixed wireless service throughout the northern towns of Oconto County. Bertram would build 5 new wireless towers and lease space on two others.
Bloomer Telephone Company – $282,500. This project proposes to build a fiber to the premises service past 113 homes in the Towns of Howard and Tilden, in Chippewa County northwest of Chippewa Falls.
Bug Tussel Wireless, LLC – $188,982. This project will build and equip two towers to provide a fixed wireless service in the Village of Necedah and the Towns of Necedah and Clearfield.
Bug Tussel Wireless, LLC – $102,982. This project will build and equip a tower to provide a fixed wireless service in the vicinity of the Town of Brooklyn in Dane County and the Town of Union in Rock County.
CenturyTel of Southern Wisconsin, LLC d/b/a CenturyLink – $174,150. This project proposes to build a DSL service to six service nodes; three would be in the rural area northwest of Cambria around Highway 33, and three would be northwest of Friesland. The project would upgrade service to 68 locations.
CenturyTel of the Midwest-Wisconsin, LLC d/b/a CenturyLink – $25,875. This project proposes to build a 1.3-mile fiber route from the Footville exchange office to a DSL service node north of Footville and west of Janesville in Rock County.
CenturyTel of the Midwest-Kendall, LLC d/b/a CenturyLink – $10,500. This project proposes to build a 1,500 foot fiber route to a DSL service node located at the intersection of Hwys 14 and 19 east of Mazomanie in Dane County.
Telephone USA of Wisconsin, LLC d/b/a CenturyLink – $60,480. This project proposes to install a total of 8 miles of fiber to five DSL service devices in the Prairie du Chien telephone exchange, and to upgrade the electronics at the remote devices.
Chequamegon Communications Cooperative, Inc. d/b/a Norvado – $190,000. This project proposes to build a fiber to the premises service in the vicinity of Tomahawk Lake in the Town of Barnes in Bayfield County. The fiber route will pass 215 homes and 15 businesses.
ChoiceTel, LLC – $150,226. This project proposes to build a fiber route between Eagle River and St. Germain, connecting the elementary school in St Germain to main campus of the Northland Pines School District. The route will also pass 235 homes and businesses located between Highway G and St Germain.
Cochrane Cooperative Telephone Company – $391, 807. This project proposes to build a fiber to the premises service past 245 homes and businesses located in the vicinity of Highway 35 between Cochran and Fountain City in Buffalo County.
Eau Claire County – $200,000. This project will install LTE and TV White Space fixed wireless equipment on 4 Eau Claire County towers, and build one new wireless tower in the Town of Wilson in Eau Claire County.
Whitewater Wideband LLC d/b/a Edge Broadband – $116,395. This project proposes to build a fiber to the premises service past 31 businesses and 280 homes located south of Lake Wandawega and east of Highway 12, in the Town of Sugar Creek in Walworth County.
Ethoplex, LLC – $82,425. This project will build a fixed wireless service in unserved areas of Washington County. The build out will include 5G technology for some areas.
Green County Development Corporation – $414,234. This project will build and equip four towers to provide a fixed wireless service in four towns in Green County (the southern portion along the state line and the northwest corner east of Blanchardville).
Hexis Communications, LLC – $2,849. This project will provide a fixed wireless service in rural areas outside of Random Lake, in Sheboygan County.
Indianhead Telephone Company d/b/a BEVCOMM – $134,516. This project will build a fiber to the premises service past 119 homes and businesses in the vicinity of Island Lake in Rusk County.
Iron County Resource Development Association, Inc. – $47,925. This project proposes to build one fixed wireless tower in the vicinity of Mercer in Iron County.
Kewaunee County – $40,000. This project will build a wireless tower and install a fixed wireless service in Kewaunee County (location to be determined by the County).
Lakeland Communications – $156,000. This project proposes to build a 10-mile fiber route from existing Lakeland facilities to the Town of Eureka. This project will also build past 104 homes and businesses in this first phase of the overall project.
Marquette-Adams Telephone Cooperative, Inc. – $51,873. This project will build a fiber to the premises service past 50 homes in an unserved subdivision north of Montello in Marquette County.
Mount Horeb Telephone Company – $244,200. This project proposes to build a fiber to the premises service past 74 homes and businesses located in the Town of Brigham in Iowa County.
Nextgen Communications, LLC – $60,000. This project proposes to build a fiber to the premises service past 33 homes and businesses located in the Town of Forest in St. Croix County.
Bayland Telephone, LLC d/b/a Nsight Teleservices – $49,230. This project proposes to build a fiber to the premises service in the Oconto Falls Business Park. The route will pass 34 locations in the park.
Brown County CLEC, LLC d/b/a Nsight Teleservices – $177,895. This project proposes to build a 7.5 mile fiber route along Highway O in Sheboygan County between Highway 32 and County Road E. The fiber route will pass 23 businesses and 3 community anchor institutions.
Oneida County Economic Development Corporation – $100,000. This project will deploy a fixed wireless service on 6 towers in unserved and underserved areas of Oneida County (locations to be determined by Oneida County EDC).
CCI Systems, Inc. d/b/a Packerland Broadband – $210,733. This project will deploy a TV White Space system to 10 locations in Marinette County. A tower will be placed in Town of Dunbar.
CCI Systems, Inc. d/b/a Packerland Broadband – $98,000. This project will build a cable service to homes adjacent to Trump Lake, in Forest County north of Wabeno, and deploy a TV White Space system from 2 antenna locations in Wabeno.
Price County Telephone Company – $250,292. Price County Telephone Co. will extend its existing fiber network, with dedicated backbone, distribution, feeder and drop fiber to approximately 173 properties on the west side of Solberg Lake in the Town of Worcester.
The Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa – $224,750. This project will build a fixed wireless service using LTE small cell technology. The service will reach 320 tribal and 384 non-tribal homes in the Town of Russell.
Siren Telephone Company – $10,000. This project proposes to build a fiber to the premises service to 18 locations in the Town of Lorain in Polk County. Siren would provide service at a speed of up to 1 Gbps to the homes and businesses on this route.
Solarus – $170,749. This project proposes to build a fiber to the premises service to 164 businesses and homes in the Towns of Grant and Plover in Portage County.
SonicNet, Inc. – $51,913. This project will build and equip four towers to provide a fixed wireless service in the vicinity of Plum Lake in Vilas County.
Vernon Telephone Company, LLC d/b/a TDS Telecom – $351,857. This project proposes to build a DSL service to 28 service nodes in the vicinity of New Glarus, in Green and Dane Counties.
UTELCO, LLC d/b/a TDS Telecom – $492,915. This project proposes to build a DSL service to 26 service nodes in the vicinity of Monticello, in Green County.
Town of Dunn – $31,146. This project proposes to build a fixed wireless service in the Town of Dunn in Dane County. This service will target homes and businesses that are south of McFarland and west of Lake Kegonsa.
Town of Liberty Grove – $118,760. This project will build 3 wireless towers and install a fixed wireless service in Liberty Grove, adjacent to Sister Bay, in Door County.
Vernon Communications Cooperative – $244,701. This project will build a fiber to the premises service past 173 homes and businesses in unserved areas of Vernon County.
Waypoint Experts, LLC d/b/a Bayfield Wireless – $144,257. This project will build a fixed wireless service using LTE small cell technology. The service will reach 798 homes in the Towns of Bayfield and Russell.
Wittenberg Telephone Company, Inc. d/b/a Wittenberg Wireless LLC – $390,011. This project proposes to build a 20-mile fiber route in Langlade County along Highway 55 from Hollister to Pickerel. This project will connect a fiber to the premises service to a Cellcom mobile wireless tower at the Pickerel end of the route, as well as 427 homes and businesses along the route.
Applications for the next round of grants is now open. The deadline for grant applications to be submitted to the PSC is July 16, 2018. Further instructions regarding the preparation of an application may be found at the Broadband Expansion Grant webpage.

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