The Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin has given out the next round of Broadband Expansion Program grants. It awarded $28.4 million for 58 projects to expand high-speed broadband internet access to unserved and underserved locations in 44 counties, including both Door and Kewaunee counties.
This is the second round of funding from the 2019-21 budget signed by Gov. Evers in 2019. That budget provided a historic investment of $48 million for the broadband-expansion program.
Kewaunee County received $1.4 million to support an estimated $4 million project by Hilbert Communications, the parent company of Bug Tussel Wireless, to build a 61.7-mile fiber route throughout the county, which will improve broadband support for the wireless service currently being installed to serve Kewaunee County residents.
“This grant helps to continue our commitment to our residents to provide better broadband access to allow students and parents to work from home,” said Scott Feldt, Kewaunee County administrator. “In addition,
improved internet service can attract families to the area by offering a rural lifestyle without sacrificing the need for modern technology.”
Currently, Kewaunee County is working with Bug Tussel Wireless on installing equipment on six existing towers, as well as erecting six new towers throughout Kewaunee County. When complete, the project is estimated to cover nearly 90% of the county – a project made possible from previously awarded PSC grant money.
Kewaunee County was awarded $960,000 in 2020 toward its broadband expansion initiative, and $40,000 in 2018.
Several Door County communities applied for the grants, but only one was awarded. Brown County C-LEC, d/b/a Nsight Telservices, received $297,603 for the Washington Island Phase II fiber project, which will build a Fiber-To-The-Premises (FTTP) service past 73 businesses and 143 residential locations on Washington Island. The project builds on the 2019 Nsight Washington Island fiber route connecting Gills Rock, Plum Island and Washington Island.