Officials of Charter Communications, Inc. have announced plans to deliver gigabit high-speed broadband to approximately 143,000 unserved Wisconsin homes and small businesses, as estimated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
The proposed area of expansion includes a large portion of Calumet County along the east shore of Lake Winnebago.
As part of this effort, more than $668 million will be invested in Wisconsin, which includes an expected private investment of at least $500 million by Charter and more than $168 million in support won by Charter in the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity (RDOF) auction. The effort is part of the company’s recently announced expected investment of approximately $5 billion—offset by $1.2 billion in RDOF support—to expand Charter’s network to what the FCC estimates to be more than 1 million homes and small businesses in lower-density, mostly rural communities across 24 states that do not have access to broadband service of at least 25/3 Mbps.
The new initiative is in addition to Charter’s existing network expansion plans and builds upon the company’s long track record of expanding broadband access to unserved and underserved locations.
In a December 2020 report, WMC Foundation’s Future Wisconsin Project identified five challenges to expanding geographic opportunity across Wisconsin and one of the largest was “rural gaps in broadband.” Through this expansion project, Charter is projected to connect nearly 60 percent of Wisconsin’s RDOF-awarded locations with quality, high-speed broadband, including in three counties not currently served by Charter, which will help to close the gap for many more of Wisconsin’s citizens. The FCC estimates Charter will reach an additional 143,000 homes and small businesses in Wisconsin, making it Charter’s largest RDOF-supported expansion in the country.
(For more on this story please see the March 11 issue of the Tri-County News.)