Buffalo County certified in Wisconsin Broadband Forward program
A Buffalo County initiative to expand high-speed Internet services countywide led to link-up with a state grant program aimed at advancing cooperative ventures between the public and private sectors to invest in providing broadband to rural areas. Buffalo County was officially certified as a Broadband Forward Community by the State Broadband Office in the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. The county board’s action in seeking Broadband Forward Community ranking laid groundwork for supporting increased broadband access by taking steps to reduce obstacles for private and public investment in expanding services.
David Danzinger of Belvidere, a county board member chairing the county’s economic development committee, said expansion of broadband services was critical in Buffalo County. “We need to take all the steps we can to reduce the hurdles for deployment of additional infrastructure.” Becoming certified in the state’s Broadband Expansion Grant Program, Danzinger said, sends a signal that Buffalo County is serious about working with broadband providers to expand high-speed Internet services. A state broadband expansion grant program created by Gov.
Scott Walker several years ago has grown to more than £40 million allocated for improving access to high-speed Internet services. The federal government has boosted the effort by providing Wisconsin £570 million over six years to expand broadband access to rural areas in the state. Walker says Buffalo County was an example of a rural county working to expand broadband connections.
The county’s standing as a certified advocate of expanded broadband services, Walker added, was an “important stepping stone” in furthering rural economic development.