March 19, 2021
County Board Supervisor Kate McGinnity (608) 335-4703 or County Board Supervisor Melissa Ratcliff (608) 239-3548
County Board

At the Dane County Board meeting last night, Supervisor Kate McGinnity introduced a resolution creating the Dane County Broadband Task Force. If approved, the task force will consist of 15 members representing a variety of backgrounds.


The resolution comes as leaders in both the federal and state governments make broadband access a top priority. Both President Biden and Governor Evers have indicated their support for improving access for unserved and underserved communities.


"Of all of the lessons we have learned over the last year, one continues to stand out – we need high-speed, affordable, accessible internet access for every resident of the county", said County Board Supervisor Melissa Ratcliff (District 36). "Dane County is often not thought of to lack access, however, residents in the rural areas of the county have felt this burden for a long time."


If approved, the task force will work over the next year to collect data, research and explore various funding mechanisms, partner with stakeholders to identify where broadband access is and is not, explore alternative solutions, and make recommendations to the County Board on the role of Dane County in facilitating the expansion of broadband services to residents.


"We have a lot of work to do to determine where our greatest needs are, and help however we can to make sure our residents are able to complete basic functions of life including online banking, telehealth appointments, and school to name a few," remarked County Board Supervisor Kate McGinnity (District 37). "I’m eager to get to work on this task force. There is a lot of momentum and support building to make this happen."


The resolution will be making its way through county committees over the coming weeks before it comes back to the full County Board for a vote.