Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wisconsin Ranks 43rd for Broadband Internet Coverage

2011 data will be available in the fall.

Wisconsin ranks too low to return federal money for ’net access. (Superior Telegram, 6/15/2011)

Excerpt:   Critics of the UW-Extension broadband program and WiscNet have raised questions about duplication of services and competition with the private sector — and whether UW is illegally providing telecommunications services.

“Wisconsin did not get to be 43rd worst in the country by offering too much affordable access to broadband, so duplication is not a concern,” Cross said. “Some redundancy of service is good, for example, to ensure continual access in medical emergencies.”

Referring to the question of competition, he explained, “UW-Extension is partnering with the private sector, which on its own was not meeting rural needs for high-speed Internet access.”

UW System and WiscNet are not providing telecommunications services. That is offered by UW-Extension’s private partner, Packerland Broadband/CCI Systems. No profits come back to UW-Extension. The grant-funded work connects key community institutions and opens opportunities for local telecommunications companies to provide residential and business services.

WiscNet operates as a cooperative instead of as a for-profit organization. Members — including the UW System — pool resources to pay for services, which keeps costs low for these financially strapped public schools, libraries and universities.

“Years of work have gone into developing the broadband grant-funded work and the WiscNet research and education network,” Cross said. “Why unravel these carefully crafted relationships now when the stakes are so high for our state?”

Related WiscNet posts:
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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