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Kewaunee County awarded $1.3 million grant to expand broadband

Computer laptop typing internet working
Posted at 1:36 PM, Aug 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-02 14:36:50-04

KEWAUNEE COUNTY (NBC 26) — Kewaunee County is getting $1.3 million to expand the public's access to high-speed internet.

The $1.3 million broadband expansion grant from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) will help the county provide high-speed internet to businesses and residents. According to a statement from the county, it has received a total of $3.7 million in grant funds since it first began enhancing broadband access for the public.

The County says this latest grant will lay fiber in the southern half of the County, finishing a 62.5-mile route to help connect wireless broadband towers and complete a “middle mile” fiber ring for improved support. Currently, the County’s broadband partner, Bug Tussel Wireless, is placing fiber in the northern part of the County with funds from previous grants.

“This overall project has an estimated expense of $4 million, and when we first started, the county along with Hilbert Communications, LLC, which is the parent company of Bug Tussel Wireless, LLC, set a goal to acquire as much grant funding as we possibly could to pay for the project, and we’re making it happen. This effort is projected to provide broadband coverage to nearly 90% of the County, and that’s a game changer,” said Scott Feldt, Kewaunee County Administrator.

Kewaunee County says the $1.3 million grant is the County’s second-largest grant ever received from the PSC. In 2021, $1.4 million was awarded, in 2020, $960,000 was received, and in 2018, $40,000 was granted for this broadband expansion initiative.