Expansion of high-speed broadband in Wisconsin is ramping up under the newest phase of the Connect America Fund, a federal program that attempts to shift funding away from phone service, and towards a better Internet connection.

“It’s basically to connect every home, business and anchor institution to the internet,” said Jim Jermain, vice president of external affairs for AT&T, at the Wisconsin Technology Council’s Innovation Network luncheon in Madison. “Along with this, companies such as AT&T agree to accept this money, there are some obligations: we have to provide voice service and broadband where we get this.”

Connect America Fund Phase II, otherwise known as CAF II, expands upon the original CAF, which Jermain says went in “the right direction, but didn’t quite do what they ultimately were hoping.”

The first phase brought about $38 million to cover parts of the state, and it mostly achieved that goal, according to Jermain.

“What they’re looking at with CAF II is a whole other animal,” Jermain said. Read the full story here.