Internet for All

Internet for All Wisconsin Plan

​Throughout 2023 and into early 2024 the Commission engaged in robust and comprehensive outreach, data collection, and planning to develop two federally required plans for Internet for All:

  1. The ​​Five-Year Action Plan establishes the State's broadband goals and priorities for NTIA for the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) Program.​

  2. The Wisconsin Digital Equity Plan establishes the digital equity goals, values, and measurable objectives for the State for the Digital Equity Act Programs.

​​The Commission has created a single executive summary of both plans together in the Internet for All Wisconsin Plan.


​​The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) provide​​s $65 billion to connect all Americans to high-speed broadband internet that is affordable and reliable. Within BIL there are several programs that support broadband planning, infrastructure, and adoption. Wisconsin will administer funding under the BEAD program and Digital Equity Act (DEA) programs. BIL also provides funding to the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for f​ederally administered broadband programs, as described below. 

BIL grant programs are not intended for household or individual applicants. Instead, states will lead planning and grantmaking efforts to provide funding to internet service providers which will build and provide service to households and businesses. Households that need assistance accessing the internet should visit the Broadb​a​​nd Consumer Resource page​.​

Draft BEAD Initial Proposal Volume 2 & Webinar

​The comment period for the Draft Broadband Equity, Access & Deployment (BEAD) Initial Proposal Volume 2 closed on Monday December 11, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. Submitted comments can be viewed under docket 5-BP-2023 on the ​ PSC's Electronic Records Filing (ERF) system. On December 1, 202​3 at 2:00 p.m., the Wisconsin Broadband Office and our Federal Program Officer from National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA) co-hosted a webinar to review the DRAFT BEAD Initial Proposal Volume 2. The webinar provides an overview and information of the DRAFT proposal, explains the federal program requirements from the Bi-partisan Infrastructure Law and Notice of Funding Opportunity for BEAD, and how Wisconsin will meet these requirements. 

Please note this webinar is just a preliminary review of the draft for the BEAD Initial Proposal Volume 2 and the goal is to provide information during the comment period. The final version of the BEAD Initial Proposal Volume 2 will be shared following Commission ruling and subsequent approval from the federal agency administering the program, the NTIA.

View December Webinar Recording

View December Webinar Slides


Wisconsin-Adm​​inistered Funding Opport​unities

Broadband Equity, Acces​s & Deploymen​​​t Program 

​​​Total Wisconsin BEAD Funding
​Where ​will be targeted with BEAD funding?
​Every Wisconsinite has access to reliable, affordable, high speed internet.

  • ​Highest priority: unserved households and businesses lacking 25/3 Mbps.
  • Eligible: underserved households and businesses lacking 100/20 Mbps.
  • Also eligible: community anchor institutions lacking 1 Gbps, and other digital equity and adoption activities.

​The BEAD program will provide approximately $42.5 billion nationwide in funding to build broadband infrastructure. BEAD will support the deployment of primarily fiber internet technology that provides service of 100/20 Mbps to all households and residences in Wisconsin that lack access to 25/3 Mbps service. 

Wisconsin’s allocation of $1,055,823,573.51 was determined through a formula based on the state’s proportion of locations lacking access to broadband service, calculated using updated Federal Communications Commission (FCC) maps. For more details on this allocation, please visit NTIA's press release​.

Wisconsin Submits Five-Year Action Plan to NTIA

Wisconsin has submitted the Five Year Action Plan that establishes the State's broadband goals and priorities to NTIA. The plan serves as a foundational guide for the deployment of the BEAD funding to ensure Internet for All Wisconsin. The required Five-Year Plan is the result of com​prehensive and robust outreach, local coordination, and survey data along with data on broadband access, affordability and adoption. The plan has been submitted and will be finalized upon review and approval by NTIA.

Submitted (8/27/2023) Wisconsin Five-Yea​r Action Plan

​Estimated Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Pr​​ogram Timeline

Image of Estimated Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Pr​​ogram Timeline
*These are estimates and actual dates are contingent upon NTIA actions. 2022: May 17. Governor Evers submits letter of intent. June - Dec. Initial planning fund application submitted. $5 million in planning funds will be allocated to WBO starting December 1. 2023: Jan. - Aug. WBO BEAD Planning: Workforce and Local Planning Grant programs, Listening Tour, and surveys. Allocation June 26. Aug 28. 5-year state action plan due. Dec. 27. Initial Proposal due. 2024: Jan - Dec. State Challenge Process. BEAD competitive subgrant rounds begin after approval of Initial Proposal. 2025: Jan. - Dec. BEAD competitive subgrants awarded to successful applicants. Final proposal due 365 days after initial proposal approval. 2026+: Ongoing implementation. Subgrantees complete projects within four years of subaward receipt.​

Since fall 2022, the Wisconsin Broadband Office (WBO) has been developing a comprehensive statewide five-year broadband implementation plan in consultation with local governments, providers, and community partners. As early as 2024, the Commission will begin to award Wisconsin’s allocation of BEAD funding to internet service providers and other eligible entities.

For more details, visit NTIA’s BEAD ​program website​.

Digital Equity Act P​rograms​

​​Total Wisconsin Digital Equity Funding​
​What populations will be targeted with digital equity funding? 
​State Planning Program:

State Capacity Grant Program:
$24 to $30 million over 5 years
​Broadband adoption efforts for targeted communities
  • ​​​Residents of rural areas
  • Individuals of color
  • Aging individuals
  • Individu​als with disabilities
  • English language learners 
  • Veterans
  • Incarcerated individuals​

The Digital Equity Act (DEA) consists of three separate planning and implementation grant programs that promote digital equity. Digital equity is the condition where all citizens have the skills, devices, and broadband service necessary to fully participate in the economy and society of Wisconsin. 

Funding will be distributed through three programs, two of which are administered by the PSC: 

  1. The State Planning Program provides funding to states based on a formula for the development of a state digital equity plan. Wisconsin’s share of planning funds is $952,197.

  2. The State Capacity Grant Program provides funding to states through a formula to support digital equity projects and implement each state’s digital equity plan. Wisconsin’s estimated share of capacity grant funding is approximately $24 million to $30 million over five years. 

  3. The Competitive Grant Program, administered by NTIA, will support digital equity projects nationally over a five-year period.

Wisconsin Digital Equity Plan Accepted by NTIA

Wisconsin submitted the Digital Equity Plan approved by the Commission to NTIA in November of 2023. The plan establishes the digital equity goals, values, and measurable objectives for the State. The required Digital Equity plan is the result of comprehensive and robust outreach, local coordination, and survey data along with data on broadband access, affordability, and adoption. On March 7, 2024 NTIA approved the Wisconsin Digital Equity Plan.

Wisconsin Digital Equity Plan Approved March 7, 2024

Estimated Digital Equity Act Pr​ograms Timeline
Image of Estimated Digital Equity Act Pr​ograms Timeline
2022: August - December Initial Digital Equity Planning Funds applications submitted. $952,197 in planning funds allocated to Wisconsin starting October 1. Internet for All Wisconsin Kick Off Event. UW Extension Outreach Partnership begins. 2023: Jan. - July Commission awards $335,000 to 7 digital equity outreach projects. Outreach and engagement, data collection and analysis, and drafting of Digital Equity Plan. August WI State Digital Equity Plan out for 30-day public comment period. Sept 30 WI State Digital Equity plan due to NTIA. 2024: ​State Digital Equity Capacity Grant Program opens for WI applicants. Plan implementation begins. 2025+: Federal Digital Equity Competitive Grant Program opens for applicants nation-w​​ide. Implementation continues.
 For more details, visit  NTIA’s DEA programs website.

Other Broadband Fund​ing O​​​pportunities 

The following broadband programs funded under BIL will be administered by federal agencies. 

Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program 

The Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program is a new $1 billion competitive grant program administered by NTIA to expand middle mile internet infrastructure across the country. Middle mile refers to high-capacity fiber internet lines that carry data between local networks that connect to households (“last mile”) and large-scale national networks (“backbone”). 

On June 16, 2023, it was announced that Dairyland Power Cooperative was awarded $14,890,077.79 to implement its
Tri-State Fiber Deployment Project (TSFDP), which will retrofit 240.23 miles of fiber optic communications network in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa.​

For more details, visit NTIA’s middle mile​ p​r​​ogram website

ReConnect Loan and ​​Grant Program 

The Reconnect Loan and Grant Program is an existing program administered by USDA​ that funds construction, equipment, and facilities for the expansion of high-speed internet access in rural areas. BIL allocated an additional $2 billion for this program. For more information on the ongoing implementation of Reconnect, visit USDA’s ReCo​nnect website​

Tribal Broadband Connectivity Progr​am 

The Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program is an existing program for tribal governments that supports broadband deployment, telehealth, distance learning, broadband affordability, and digital inclusion. BIL allocated an additional
$2 billion for this program. For more information on the ongoing implementation of the Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program, visit NTIA's Tribal Broadband Connectivi​ty website​. ​​

Internet for All Wisconsin Listening T​our

Governor Evers, together with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, hosted the Internet for All Wisconsin Listening Tour, a series of nine in-person and two virtual interactive meetings to help develop the state 5-year Action Plan and state Digital Equity Plan. These events were an opportunity for the public to share their experiences, ideas, and vision for a more connected Wisconsin. Participants learned about the two Internet For All programs: BEAD and Digital Equity Planning, being administered by the Commission. For more information, please visit the Internet for All Wisconsin Listening Tour webpage.

Internet for All: Connecting Wis​consin Kick-Off Event 

On October 25th, 2022, the NTIA and PSC​ hosted an Internet f​or All: Connecting Wisconsin Kickoff event in Wausau, WI. The event was developed in a partnership between the PSC and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, the Office of Rural Prosperity, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension, and the Educational Communications Board. 

​This day-long event brought together critical stakeholders in Wisconsin from state and local governments, Tribal communities, federal agencies, and industry to discuss coordination on high-speed Internet infrastructure deployment and digital equity efforts as the state prepares to implement programs from the BIL and launch Wisconsin’s Internet for All initiative under the BIL. Connecting everyone in Wisconsin to affordable, reliable high-speed Internet service is critical to the overall success of the state, ensuring the health and well-being of residents and a strong state economy. This event provided an opportunity for us to discuss ways we can work together to efficiently and effectively utilize these dollars to achieve the highest possible level of high-speed Internet deployment and adoption.​

Event Agenda

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