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Vilas County PSC Broadband Grant Awards
Thursday , Jun 23, 2022
VCEDC BROADBAND STRATEGY RESULTS IN $5.4MM
IN WISCONSIN PSC GRANT AWARDS FOR VILAS COUNTY
The Vilas County Economic Development Corporation (VCEDC) is pleased to announce the Wisconsin Public Service Commission has awarded three broadband grants totaling $5.4MM in Vilas County bringing high-speed broadband to another 3000+/- homes and businesses. Those grants include:
- Charter Communications/Spectrum and the Town of Presque Isle
- Total Project Cost - $7MM
- Broadband Grant Award - $1.9MM
- 1,109 homes and businesses
- Charter Communications/Spectrum and the VCEDC with the towns of Arbor Vitae, Cloverland, Conover, and Lincoln
- Total Project Cost - $6.6MM
- Broadband Grant Award - $2.6MM
- 992 homes and businesses
- SonicNet and the Town of Washington
- Total Project Cost - $1.8MM
- Broadband Grant Award - $900k
- 1,030 homes and businesses included in original grant application
These projects bring $15.4MM in Broadband investment to Vilas County, which is already a Broadband destination in Wisconsin’s Northwoods. This investment helps drive immediate impact in Vilas County and mid and long-term impact by strengthening and diversifying the economy.
In early 2020, the VCEDC developed a strategy to significantly enhance Broadband connectivity in Vilas County. These grant awards demonstrate the VCEDC strategy is successful. Working with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, ISPs, Vilas County and Town officials, the Lac du Flambeau Tribe, and their respective Broadband Committees and Workgroups (Broadband Buddies), VCEDC’s public/private partnership is a model for other similar organizations.
The approved projects will bring high-speed broadband fiber optic capability to 3,000 homes and businesses in the project areas. Coupled with the additional federal funding work known as Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Vilas County could see another 4,500 homes and businesses receive high-speed broadband access between now and 2024.
“Today's announcement by the Public Service Commission validates the work of the VCEDC Broadband Workgroup to ensure that in today’s data-driven society Vilas County is 'on the map' as a broadband destination for remote workers, entrepreneurs, and expanding businesses,” said VCEDC Executive Director Kathy Schmitz. “We've been honored to lead the Broadband Initiative for Vilas County and as a result, initiate a partnership with Charter Communications on the grant application for the non-RDOF areas in the Towns of Arbor Vitae, Cloverland, Conover, and Lincoln bringing fiber to the premise to more than 1,000 additional homes and businesses and investment of $6.6MM into Vilas County."
VCEDC Board Chairman Jim Tuckwell added, “For the first time, the VCEDC partnered with Charter Communications on a four-town broadband grant application project. “The process worked flawlessly and Charter Communications and officials in Arbor Vitae, Cloverland, Conover, and Lincoln were superb partners. I could not be more pleased.”
Schmitz added, “Thanks to the work of the VCEDC 'Broadband Buddy' Program, the VCEDC supported Presque Isle in Charter’s grant application process through discussions outlining the model of how to develop a successful grant application and also supported the SonicNet Town of Washington project.”
Work on these projects is expected to begin in late 2022.
For more information about VCEDC and its Broadband work please visit https://www.vilascountyedc.org