Thursday, June 16, 2011

From WiscNet News: Maddy Covelli's "Amendment Update"

Link to Maddy's post.

Federal Broadband Stimulus Grants: We appreciate the efforts to allow the $32 million UW-Extension federal grant to move forward, albeit with the provision that future financial commitments require Joint Finance Committee approval. In communities where we do not have funds committed as of June 15, 2011, we will come to the Joint Finance Committee with our community partners to present a compelling case about the value of this investment and the importance of moving forward with our promise to expand broadband access in rural Wisconsin.

WiscNet: We welcome an objective review of the relationship between the University of Wisconsin and WiscNet, a nonprofit cooperative.  The amendment allows the University of Wisconsin to continue as full members of WiscNet for the next two years, while the review helps everyone understand these issues better.  We look forward to a healthy dialogue with legislators, telecommunications providers, community partners, and others.  We are confident that those open lines of communication will be fruitful.

Research Collaborations: The amended language allows us to remain as active members of existing research consortia (e.g., Internet2, Educause). Over the next two years, the review will help shed new light on our role in these important global partnerships. Even without additional changes to statute beyond today’s amendment, we will still have the option of joining new consortia with additional Joint Finance Committee oversight, and we are confident that legislators will understand the importance of letting WiscNet’s membership join these collaborative research networks that boost Wisconsin’s economy.

Overall: We are cautiously optimistic, but our attorneys and information technology experts need time to review the new statutory language. For now, we appreciate the efforts of Rep. Robin Vos and other legislative leaders who helped broker a reasonable compromise. This allows us to move ahead without jeopardizing network memberships, while we and the State work together to better understand the complex issues involved.

Related WiscNet posts:
Assembly passes budget at 3:05 a.m.  (6/16/2011)
Wispolitics budget blog.  (6/15/2011)
Wisconsin ranks 43rd for broadband Internet coverage.  (6/15/2011)
Ron Kind news release.  (6/15/2011)
Assembly 8.  (6/15/2011)
Highest level alert.  (6/15/2011)
This is what democracy looks like.  (6/15/2011)
WSTA's day of disappointment.  (6/14/2011)
They can hear us now.  (6/14/2011)
Appleton Post-Crescent editorial.  (6/14/2011)
YouTube video.  (6/14/2011)
Hedberg Public Library promotes WiscNet.  (6/14/2011)
League of Wisconsin Municipalities press release.  (6/14/2011)
UW General Counsel opinion.  (6/13/2011)
Ars Technica WiscNet coverage.  (6/13/2011)
Wausau Daily Herald editorial.  (6/13/2011)
If your representative is Robin Vos...   (9/13/2011)
Baraboo School Board unhappy with JFC WiscNet action.  (6/13/2011)
WiscNet debate from the NE WI prospective.  (6/12/2011)
David Weinhold letter to editor.  (6122010
Rep. Moelpske's statement. (6/11/2011)
COLAND letter to Sen. Fitzgerald.  (6/10/2011)
Rhonda Puntney's op-ed piece.  (6/10/2011)
Nass letter to Fitzgerald and Vos.  (6/9/2011)
CINC response.  (6/9/2011)
UW response.  (6/9/2011)
Manna from heaven.  (6/8/2011)

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