Wisconsin Passes Bill to Expand Funding for Rural Broadband

The grant program currently allocates $1.5 million a year to expand rural broadband access, and this bill would add $15 million to the grant program

by / May 4, 2017

(TNS) -- BELOIT, Wis. —The state Assembly has passed a bill that expands funding for rural broadband internet.

The bill draws on work done last year by the Study Committee on Rural Broadband to improve the Broadband Expansion Grant Program. Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, was a committee member and an author of the bill, according to a news release.

The grant program currently allocates $1.5 million a year to expand rural broadband access. The bill would add $15 million to the grant program and would expand future funding to $4.5 million per year, according to the release.

“Because high-speed internet is essential for education, commerce and everyday life in the 21st century, my duty is to make sure all residents of the 45th Assembly District have access,” Spreitzer said in the release.

The bill also adds $7.5 million to the TEACH program, which offers internet service to schools, the release states.

The bill now moves on to the Senate.

©2017 The Janesville Gazette (Janesville, Wis.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.