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Vision: To establish La Crosse County as a fully connected community that provides access to affordable and reliable high-speed internet to all!

La Crosse County Broadband Study Summary Report


Tool to Help Wisconsinites Afford their Internet and Phone Bills - Lifeline Program

The Lifeline program provides low-income Wisconsin residents affordable access to essential telecommunication services by discounting the cost of phone, cell and internet services. Providers that are designated as eligible telecommunications providers (ETCs) will be reimbursed for those discounts by the state and federal universal service funds. 

Tool to Help Wisconsinites Find Free, Discounted Internet Service 

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), announced the launch of the Internet Discount Finder website to help Wisconsin households find and access affordable internet. The new tool can assist in finding free and discounted internet service available to eligible Wisconsin residents. Follow the link to learn more and determine if you are eligible! Internet Discount Finder


Steps we have taken to date:

  1. In the Spring of 2023, La Crosse County became certified through the Wisconsin Public Service Commission as a Broadband Forward! and Telecommuter Forward! Community. In a nutshell, these certifications did two things:

    1. Provides Internet Services Providers the confidence that La Crosse County has established systems and infrastructure to ensure timely and seamless permitting and approval processes for infrastructure development/improvement projects.
    2. Provides all parties a primary point of contact at La Crosse County for anything related to broadband. This point of contact is Sam Bachmeier, Community Development Specialist, (608) 785-5792 or [email protected]

  2. Engaged with the State of Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) - La Crosse County has opted-in to participate in the Wisconsin PSC's BEAD Local Planning Program. La Crosse County's efforts will provide the Wisconsin PSC with vital information they need to develop state-wide strategies and plans. 
  3. Formed the La Crosse County Broadband Committee – this committee’s role will be to conduct stakeholder engagement, provide direction to staff and internet services providers, identify barriers and opportunities, and among other responsibilities, report to the full County Board of Supervisors.
  4. Broadband consultant hired! La Crosse County hired Design Nine, a firm who provides consulting services nationwide. Design Nine will develop a study/plan that will provide La Crosse County and our local units of government guidance. The plan is set to be completed late-March 2024. Once available, the plan will be made public.
  5. In October of 2023 La Crosse County released a survey to gauge the level of service currently being provided to our residents. The survey was a great success, with over 3,500 responses and representation from all parts of La Crosse County. Priority areas will be identified in the plan, but preliminary results indicate rural/less-populated areas have the most significant need.
  6. Since October, La Crosse County staff and Design Nine have been meeting with stakeholders to gather input. Stakeholders include healthcare, schools/libraries, towns/agriculture representatives, and internet service providers.
  7. On April 1, 2024 - The La Crosse County Broadband Committee approved the La Crosse County Broadband Study Summary Report. To view the report, follow this link: La Crosse County Broadband Study Summary Report

Next steps:

1.) Participate in the Wisconsin Public Service Commission BEAD Challenge Process

2.) Work with internet service providers to support projects throughout all of La Crosse County, with a focus on areas of greatest need.