Dodge County Seeking To Bolster Broadband Offerings

(Juneau) Dodge County is seeking a grant to help expand the county’s broadband capabilities. In April, the county created a broadband workgroup to investigate existing and potential broadband access opportunities, evaluate obstacles for broadband infrastructure, explore county investment options to secure and further enhance broadband access, among other things.

Two internet-based firms, Bertram Communications and Netwurx Internet, have partnered with the group to help apply for a 2020 PSC Broadband Expansion grant. Former county supervisor and Broadband Work Group Chairman Jeff Duchac who says they broadband workgroup sought insight on how to write the grant and Bertram Communications and Netwurx Internet were the two companies that were willing to work together. He says this “teaming up” is rare and has not been done before in the state.

Duchac says the two companies were not only willing to help write the grant but also share resources to get the county more connected at no cost. $48-million-dollars was dedicated to broadband expansion grants in Governor Tony Evers biennial budget with $24-million available in the initial round of funding. Duchac says if the county secures the grant it could go a long way in providing high-speed internet to all residents.

Duchac says the grant process will be competitive and is recommending the county come up with $100,000 over the next two years to help bolster their chances. The exact dollar amount the county commits to the grant will be determined during the budget process.