This is the third session on broadband planning and funding for counties, Tribes, and REDOs. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin’s Wisconsin Broadband Office provided an update the BEAD Local Planning Grant Program, including funding allocations, grant instructions, budgeting and financial reporting details, eligible categories, allowable activities, and deliverables. The Technical Assistance Team from UW-Madison, Division of Extension and WEDC’s Office of Rural Prosperity provided planning updates and resources, including the GEO partners mapping tool available through BEAD Funding and an update of a statewide survey aiding in the development of Wisconsin’s BEAD and Digital Equity Plans.
Gail Huycke is a Professor of Practice with the University of Wisconsin Extension where she serves as a Broadband Specialist. Gail has 39 years of experience in delivering community outreach programs in family and community economic development. She joined the Broadband Education Center in 2015 serving as Director for the Connected Aging Communities Initiative. Connected Aging Communities is a groundbreaking initiative that’s uses a unique “high tech, high touch” holistic, community development approach to enable aging residents to live independently at home. Gail’s current broadband efforts center heavily on community planning for broadband access. She is a member of the National Digital Extension Education Team and has played a key role in the development of broadband community planning curriculum, training Extension staff at a national level. Gail has developed training materials for the National 4-H Council’s Tech Changemakers- Digital Ambassador program on digital inclusion. Over the last two years, Gail has served as a member of the Wisconsin’s Governor’s Task Force on Broadband
Danielle Jones is the Director of Rural Initiatives at WEDC. She has been with WEDC and its predecessor for over 10 years, and during this time she had the largest portfolio of industry sectors due to her ability to quickly evaluate industries and collaboratively identify solutions for them. Industries that had been in her portfolio are close to the hearts of rural communities, including, telecommunications and forest products. Prior to working for WEDC (and the Department of Commerce), she worked in account management and sales in the insurance industry and in technology-focused areas, including software technology and agricultural research and development. She is excited to bring the expertise and experience in industry analysis and solution development skillsets developed and honed across an over 30-year career to rural communities in order to assist them with issues dearest to their hearts. In her free time she is an avid traveler.