What is Broadband

What is Broadband and What is the Broadband Expansion Grant Program?

Broadband is defined to be a fixed service to include fixed wireless, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), dial up, cable internet and fiber to home that provide for 25 megabits per second of download speed and 3 megabits per second of upload speed.  For purposes of the state definition, broadband does not include satellite or cell phone service. 

The Purpose of the Broadband Expansion Grant Program is to encourage the deployment of advanced telecommunications capability in underserved areas of the state. To address this issue, the state offers Broadband Expansion Grants to providers and local communities to subsidize construction of broadband facilities to unserved and underserved communities and to reduce the financial risk of the building out the broadband service. 

The Intended Benefits Include:

  • Added value to existing homes and expanded construction locations for new homes.
  • Improved internet access for businesses that depend upon the internet for sales and product development, or communication with other company locations.
  • Allows seasonal residents to spend more time in their summer homes and campgrounds.
  • Permits clinics and hospitals to use telemedicine devices, including home health monitoring units, to better assess the health status of chronic patients without having to travel to a clinic.
  • Provides students with the internet access they need to complete assignments, and contact teachers and fellow students by e-mail and social media.

Underserved area means an area that is served by fewer than 2 broadband service providers providing a broadband service with a speed of 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) for download transmission and 3 Mbps for upload transmission. this definition does not include a commercial mobile radio service or a broadband service in which a stand-alone satellite provider connects directly to the end user with a satellite connection. An eligible underserved area can also include an area where an applicant has shown it to be underserved notwithstanding the fact that the proposed service area lies within a census block that has been designated as served in the Broadband Coverage Map.

Unserved Area means an area of the state that is not served by an internet service provider offering an internet service that is all of the following:

  • Fixed wireless service or wired service
  • Provided at actual speeds of at least 5 Mbps for download transmission and 600 Kbps for upload transmission

Map Information: The data for the Wisconsin Broadband Map is provided by census block. A provider indicates coverage of a census block when the provider serves at least 1 customer in the block. Where the Map indicates that an area is served by two or more broadband service providing 25/3 service, the County is permitted to provide additional information to show that the Map is not accurate with respect to the proposed project area. (this is why we need the survey).  Below are potential maps we can link to.