Digital Equity Plan lays out vision to improve internet access, adoption, and affordability
By Meghan Sovey
MADISON – Following months of public outreach and stakeholder engagement, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) today released the draft Wisconsin Digital Equity Plan for public comment. Once approved by the Commission, the Digital Equity Plan will guide the state’s strategy to improve digital equity, ensuring all in Wisconsin have the skills, devices, and broadband service necessary to fully participate in society and the economy.
The state Digital Equity Plan is one of three components of the Digital Equity Act. Passed under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Digital Equity Act is intended to promote digital equity and inclusion. After the public comment period, the Commission will review the public comments and finalize the plan during an open meeting for submission to the National Telecommunications Information Administration (NTIA). Upon NTIA approval, Wisconsin will be eligible for State Capacity Grant Program funding to implement the state’s Digital Equity Plan over a five-year period. Digital Equity funding will be directed toward populations that have disproportionately faced internet access and adoption barriers, including rural residents, low-income residents, individuals of color, people with language barriers, aging individuals, incarcerated individuals, people with disabilities, and veterans.
“Digital equity is important because, for our state to fully realize the economic and social benefits of broadband, all must be able to successfully utilize the service,” said PSC Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq. “The additional public comments will move us closer toward achieving our goal for all Wisconsinites to have equitable access to affordable broadband service and the capacity to fully engage in a digital society.”