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Governor’s broadband task force suggests faster internet, more money

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(The Center Square) – The Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Access this week released its latest report into the effort to expand high-speed internet access across the state.

“For three years, the Task Force on Broadband Access has played an important role in the state’s ongoing efforts to bridge Wisconsin’s digital divide,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement. “The recommendations in this report will continue to help guide our work as we work to deliver reliable, high-speed internet to every part of Wisconsin.”

Many of the recommendations deal with funding.

The Task Force says “Wisconsin needs to plan, coordinate, distribute, and capitalize on the increasing federal funding dollars available, including those through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law such as the Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment Program and Digital Equity Programs,” their report reads.

There is. however, no price tag included for the latest recommendations.

Gov. Evers recently announced that Wisconsin will receive nearly $1 billion for internet projects from the BEAD program.

That money is earmarked for broadband companies to expand service in parts of the state without high speed internet.

According to a map included in the report that would be most of outstate Wisconsin, particularly areas north of Highway 29.

The Task Force is also suggesting Wisconsin look to increase the speed of high speed internet throughout the state.

The Task Force’s original goals were to provide “o high-speed broadband that provides a download speed of at least 25 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 3 Mbps” by 2025. And to provide “ access to 100 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 20 Mbps” by 2031.

The new report sets a new goal.

“By 2028/2029, all homes and businesses will have access to high-speed broadband service that reliably provides a download speed of at least 100 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 20 Mbps,” the Task Force wrote. “By 2028/2029, all community anchor institutions will have access to high-speed broadband service that reliably provides a download speed of at least 1000 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 1000 Mbps.”

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