WASHINGTON, June 17, 2010 – On Monday Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle went before the state’s joint finance committee to ask that they approve the use of $23 Million in stimulus funding. It is unclear if the state received the funds through the BTOP or BIP grants but it will have to spend $5.7 Million of their own funds through the Technology for Educational Achievement (TEACH) program.
The funding would provide fiber optic connections for schools in over 70 districts by the end of this year and by the end of 2011 over 380 libraries would receive connections.
“This plan is a big step toward ensuring that every Wisconsin resident has access to broadband Internet,” said Thad Nation, Executive Director of Wired Wisconsin; “[This] is one of the best ways to foster economic development, support additional educational opportunities, and increase connections between citizens across the state, and we encourage the Joint Finance Committee to approve this crucial funding.”
Governor Doyle went onto say that every citizen needs equal access to high speed internet access “regardless of demographics, geography of economic status,”
The project is projected to employ over 300 people during the initial construction phase and will push the network within three miles of 390 law enforcement agencies, nearly 300 fire departments and 119 hospitals which will allow these groups to potentially tap into the network.
Additionally Wired Wisconsin projects that 91,000 will be able to gain better access as a result of this new deployment.