2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
February 20, 2020 - Introduced by Senators Schachtner, Smith,
Carpenter, Erpenbach, Hansen and Miller, cosponsored by Representatives
Shankland, Vruwink, Doyle, Anderson, Considine, Emerson, Kolste,
Milroy, Ohnstad, Pope, Sargent, Sinicki, Spreitzer, Stubbs and Subeck.
Referred to Committee on Utilities and Housing.
1An Act to renumber
196.504 (1) (ad) and 196.504 (1) (ae); to amend
(2) (c); and to create
196.504 (1) (af) of the statutes; relating to: prioritizing
3certain farm projects under the broadband expansion grant program.
Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
Under current law, the Public Service Commission makes grants to eligible
applicants for the purpose of constructing broadband infrastructure in underserved
areas. In making the grants, current law requires the PSC to give priority to projects
that satisfy various requirements. This bill requires the PSC to also give priority to
projects for expanding fiber optic broadband lines to farms. The bill defines “farm”
as land primarily devoted to agricultural uses related to crop and animal production
that are referenced in a rule promulgated by the Department of Revenue.
The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
196.504 (1) (ad) of the statutes is renumbered 196.504 (1) (ah).
196.504 (1) (ae) of the statutes is renumbered 196.504 (1) (ak).
196.504 (1) (af) of the statutes is created to read:
(af) “Farm” means land primarily devoted to an agricultural use, 2
as defined in s. Tax 18.05 (1) (a) or (b), Wis. Adm. Code.
196.504 (2) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
(c) To establish criteria for evaluating applications and awarding 5
grants under this section. The criteria shall prohibit grants that have the effect of 6
subsidizing the expenses of a provider of telecommunications service, as defined in 7
s. 182.017 (1g) (cq), or the monthly bills of customers of those providers. The criteria 8
shall give priority to projects that include matching funds, that expand fiber optic
9broadband lines to farms,
that involve public-private partnerships, that affect 10
unserved areas, that are scalable, that promote economic development, that will not 11
result in delaying the provision of broadband service to areas neighboring areas to 12
be served by the proposed project, or that affect a large geographic area or a large 13
number of underserved individuals or communities. When evaluating grant 14
applications under this section, the commission shall consider the degree to which 15
the proposed projects would duplicate existing broadband infrastructure, 16
information about the presence of which is provided to the commission by the 17
applicant or another person within a time period designated by the commission; the 18
impacts of the proposed projects on the ability of individuals to access health care 19
services from home and the cost of those services; and the impacts of the proposed 20
projects on the ability of students to access educational opportunities from home.