PSC Broadband Expansion Manager Rory Tikalsky yesterday told members of the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Access of the approval, representing a step forward in Wisconsin’s plans for using BEAD funding.

The Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program, created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, allocates more than $1 billion to Wisconsin, according to the state Public Service Commission.

Tikalsky said the federal government last week approved part one of the state’s BEAD implementation process.

“Really exciting step for us, I think a lot of work and a lot of effort by [internet service providers,] partners, all kind of on the back end of things to get things set up and lined up for this,” he said during yesterday’s task force meeting. “Our goal now … is to open this challenge process within the next couple days by announcing and posting instructions and data.”

That will trigger a 30-day window in which participants can help shape the state’s map for BEAD funding allocations, he said. Under the state’s BEAD Initial Proposal Volume 1, Wisconsin will use this challenge period to determine the locations and anchor institutions that are eligible for funding through the program.

Nonprofits, local units of government, tribal governments, certain broadband service providers and community organizations are eligible to participate.

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