(MADISON) –Today, Senator Patty Schachtner (D- Somerset) introduced legislation to expand internet access to Wisconsin farms as part of the Better Broadband package with Senator Jeff Smith (D- Brunswick).
According to the FCC, 486,000 rural Wisconsin residents lacked broadband access in 2019, amounting to roughly 28 percent of the state’s rural population. That lack of broadband access impacts farmers and the agricultural economy as well.
“Without reliable internet access, our small family farmers don’t have access to the latest agricultural technology or marketing and outreach opportunities that can support their farm’s viability,” said Senator Schachtner.
LRB 4874 will create an incentive for internet service providers to extend their fiber optic lines to farms across rural Wisconsin. With this legislation, the Public Service Commission would prioritize providing grant funding to projects that will expand internet access to farms.
“I have been fighting to prioritize the needs of rural Wisconsin for years, and rural broadband access is an important step toward providing our communities with the resources we need to succeed,” finished Senator Schachtner.