Hi, this is Representative Beth Meyers with this week’s Democratic Radio Address.

If there is one thing we can all agree on, it is that the COVID pandemic highlighted just how critical reliable and affordable internet access is. Sadly, many Wisconsin residents cannot work from home, take remote classes, do their banking online, or use telehealth to see their doctor. Nearly 650,000 Wisconsinites still lack access to high-speed broadband.

For far too long, my Republican colleagues refused to make the substantial investments necessary to truly expand access to Broadband. Former Governor Walker even returned over $22 million in federal stimulus money that could have been used to improve broadband connections in 380 Wisconsin communities, including 82 schools.

Luckily, thanks to Governor Evers, we are starting to chip away at this disparity. Since he took office in 2019, Wisconsin has disbursed and committed nearly $300 million dollars towards expanding broadband, including $105 million in federal funding. State and federal funds allocated in the last three and a half years will give more than 387,000 homes and businesses access to new or improved services.

While Republicans refused opportunity after opportunity to make meaningful investments in broadband access, my Democratic colleagues and I have worked with Governor Evers to fight and to bring this basic necessity to every corner of our state.

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