Award shows county's commitment to expanding broadband access.
La Crosse County has been certified as a Broadband Forward! community by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, which demonstrates La Crosse County's commitment to increasing broadband access.
Wisconsin’s Broadband Forward! community certification program was created in 2015 by Wisconsin Act 278. The program coordinates and streamlines administrative procedures for the deployment of broadband technologies.
“La Crosse County is a great example of a rural Wisconsin community working hard to ensure their community is connected,” said Governor Tony Evers. “It’s an important stepping-stone into further broadband expansion and economic development.”
The La Crosse County Board in January unanimously passed an ordinance in support of joining the Broadband Forward! program. The purpose is to encourage increased broadband access in La Crosse County by reducing obstacles for providers.
“Expanding broadband is critical to La Crosse County and we need to take advantage of all state and federal opportunities to move our efforts forward, while reducing hurdles to deployment of additional infrastructure,” said Monica Kruse, La Crosse County Board Chair. “Our Broadband Forward! certification sends the signal that we’re serious about working with broadband providers to extend service.”
The La Crosse County Board is also considering using up to $100,000 of its American Rescue Plan Act funding to hire a broadband expert to analyze coverage gaps in the county and identify broadband funding opportunities, including through state grant programs.
“Our grant programs aim to help applicants find a path to return on investment in areas of our state that are challenging to serve. We are also hoping that our state funding will make federal and private investments reach farther into our rural areas,” Evers noted. “Any improvement in the speed and efficiency of these investments, such as that provided by the Broadband Forward! community program, will make a significant difference in Wisconsin.”
For more information on services offered by the Wisconsin Broadband Office, please visit psc.wi.gov.