U.S. Rep. Ron Kind was named to the House Rural Broadband Task Force, which works to eliminate “digital deserts” and improve rural access to high-speed internet.

“The internet has fundamentally changed the way we work, communicate, learn and conduct business,” the La Crosse Democrat said in a statement Feb. 9. “It’s critical that we ensure communities across Wisconsin, particularly in our rural areas, have access to affordable and high-speed broadband.”

He said his priorities are:

  • Ensuring access to high-speed internet for rural communities
  • Providing more funding opportunities and support for cooperatives
  • Increasing oversight to ensure companies that are awarded federal dollars are providing adequate service to consumers

Kind has served on the task force since its inception in 2019.

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[LEGISLATIVE WATCH: Ron Kind serves Wisconsin's 3rd Congressional District in the U.S House of Representatives. The district covers western and southwestern Wisconsin, including Pierce County.]

Gov. Tony Evers on Thursday recognized Kind for his commitment to expanding broadband access. The governor, who in his State of the State address declared 2021 the “Year of Broadband Access,” has proposed $200 million in broadband spending for the biennial budget.

By the numbers…

According to Rep. Kind’s office:

36 — Wisconsin’s ranking among states for rural access to broadband

1/5 — The fraction of the state’s population considered “underserved” or with limited high-speed internet access

899,000 — The number of people in Wisconsin in communities with access to only one internet service provider

200,000 — The number of residents with no access to wired internet

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