Fast, affordable Internet access for all.
"We would pay about five times more for the internet access than we already pay through Wiscnet," said Nordgren [Associate Vice Chancellor of UW Superior]. The Superior School District said they would also lose money, because they have already invested $300,000 in anticipation of the project. "We utilized the funding from this broadband grant in order to purchase and update our website that was archaic," said Janna Stevens, Superintendent at the Superior School District.The Wisconsin League of Municipalities vociferously opposes language harming WiscNet [pdf]:
Finally, we strongly oppose JFC’s decisions to dismantle WisNet and to reject $37 million in federal dollars for promoting broadband service in rural Wisconsin. Many libraries and city halls around the state save taxpayers’ dollars by using WisNet as their Internet provider. This change benefits private Internet service providers at an additional cost to taxpayers. At a time when both the Administration and the Legislature are preaching government frugality, it doesn’t make sense to take away some of the very tools local governments use to reduce spending. We urge the Legislature to reverse these JFC amendments.If there is one lesson we can take away from this fight, it is the need to build strong networks that can quickly respond to the tricks companies like AT&T can do in their power-center: state capitals and DC. This provision was obviously intended to benefit AT&T and a few other companies at the expense of all Wisconsin, particularly its schools and libraries. But WiscNet and defenders responded quickly and powerfully to the attack. And when they did respond, they did so with various arguments, including the cost to libraries and schools. If you can't tell a legislator how it impacts a budget somewhere, you probably aren't being heard.