Audit Criticizes Broadband Grant Oversight – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel | CialisWay

The installation of fiber optic cabling in rural Wisconsin has brought high-speed Internet to many rural areas, like this one near Gresham, but many other areas still lack service.

Broadband service providers, which received millions of dollars in grants to roll out high-speed Internet in Wisconsin, have failed to document what they actually spent on their projects, according to a new report from the state Legislative Audit Bureau.

The bureau said it reviewed grants administered by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission under two federal programs: the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

The report raised concerns about spending oversight.

For example, almost all of the 384 supporting documents reviewed by the PSC for CARES Act reimbursements did not provide information on what grantees actually paid to build their projects.

In addition, the PSC did not document efforts to verify that grantees had built the high-speed Internet infrastructure for which they had received compensation.

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