The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) provides $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 Broadband Equity, Access & Deployment Program (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 federally 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
Broadband Consumer Resource page.
Wisconsin-Administered Funding Opportunities
Broadband Equity, Access & Deployment Program
|$1,055,823,573.71||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 comprehensive 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-Year Action Plan
Estimated Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program Timeline
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 Programs
|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
- Individuals with disabilities
- English language learners
- 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:
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.
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.
Competitive Grant Program, administered by NTIA, will support digital equity projects nationally over a five-year period.
Estimated Digital Equity Act Programs Timeline
Other Broadband Funding Opportunities
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 program 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 ReConnect website.
Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program
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 Connectivity website.
Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program helps low-income families pay for internet service by providing monthly subsidies. Eligible households can receive up to $30 per month, and households in qualifying Tribal areas can receive $75 per month.
Qualifying households can apply now. For more information and to apply visit
PSC Affordable Connectivity Program.
Internet for All Wisconsin Listening Tour
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 Wisconsin Kick-Off Event
On October 25th, 2022, the NTIA and Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) hosted an Internet for 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.
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