GOP set to kill Wisconsin public Internet
This is a nose / face thing - if the GOP in Wisconsin does this they are pulling a Rick Scott and blowing up Federal funding that’s already there.
The University of Wisconsin’s Internet technology division and a crucial provider of ‘Net access for Wisconsin’s educational system are under attack from that state’s legislature and from a local telecommunications association. At issue is the WiscNet educational cooperative. The non-profit provides affordable network access to the state’s schools and libraries, although its useful days may be numbered unless the picture changes soon.
Under a proposed new law, the University of Wisconsin system could be forced to return millions of dollars in federal broadband grants that it has already won, spend far more money on network services, and perhaps even withdraw from the Internet2 project.
Give it back
As we go to press with this story, WiscNet is negotiating with the leadership of Wisconsin’s state legislature. Here’s how the situation stands now: at the urging of Wisconsin’s state telecommunications association, Republican legislators have introduced an omnibus bill that would sever WiscNet from the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s Division of Informational Technology, and bar it from taking any money from UW.
The proposed law even goes so far as to prohibit UW from taking National Telecommunications Information Agency (NTIA) broadband stimulus grants, or joining any entity that offers broadband to the general public.