The list of states whose broadband funding programs have received applications seeking significantly more funds than the program has available now includes Wisconsin and California.
Two States Tally Up Broadband Funding Applications: Available Budget Comes Up Short
California Broadband Funding
484 applications for $4.6 billion were submitted to California’s Federal Funding Account, more than double the $2 billion allocated for the program.
Last-mile infrastructure initiatives are funded through awards; each county has submitted a funding application.
In addition, the state also provided information regarding applications submitted to two other broadband programs, the Infrastructure Grant Account and the Broadband Adoption Account.
While 96 applications totalling approximately $15 million were submitted to California’s Broadband Adoption Account for broadband access and digital literacy, 74 applications totalling approximately $527 million were submitted to the Infrastructure Grant Account for middle- and last-mile infrastructure.
Additionally, the state provided information regarding applications for the Tribal Technical Assistance Programme and the Broadband Public Housing Account.
Fourteen applications were submitted to the Broadband Public Housing Account to establish broadband networks that would provide low-income community members with free government internet service.
Five funding applications for the development of market and feasibility studies were received by the Tribal Technical Assistance Programme.
However, the state omitted information regarding the overall amount of funding requested for either programme.
Wisconsin Broadband Funding
Wisconsin‘s Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program, which has $42 million in available funds from the federal Capital Projects Fund to award under the programme, received 124 applications for $221.6 million.
Together with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC), Governor Tony Evers announced that the Wisconsin Broadband Office had received 124 applications for the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Programme, totalling $221.6 million.
In order to manage Broadband Infrastructure Grants and invest in broadband construction and deployment that will bring high-quality internet to areas without access to sufficient, affordable service, PSC is to award up to $42 million under the American Rescue Plan Act’s Capital Projects Fund (CPF).
In a statement regarding the applications, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers stated, “The Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program will help build upon our progress to connect over 395,000 homes and businesses to new or improved high-speed internet by helping close the digital divide in communities that have long struggled with inadequate service.
That said, clearly, the need far outweighs the resources available, and we must keep making meaningful state investments to prioritize and invest in the robust broadband infrastructure needed to meet our state’s 21st-century needs.”
AT&T, Brightspeed, Charter, Comcast, Frontier, Midco, and many smaller businesses, including established rural telecom carriers, were among the applicants.
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