Subscribe to feed Viewing entries tagged WiscNet

Bill to Delay WiscNet Changes Dies

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Monday, March 19, 2012 in State Legislation/Initiatives
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Despite contacts from library supporters and others around the state, AB 473/ SB 375 (to delay changes to WiscNet) died without being scheduled for a floor vote in either chamber of the state legislature. Therefore, the provisions of the original legislation that passed as part of the 2011-13 biennial budget bill will take effect on July 1, 2013. The exact ramifications of a separation of WiscNet from the UW are not yet clear. An audit of the program by the Legislative Audit Bureau is underway and is required to be completed by January 1, 2013.Original Post 2/21/12:AB 473, a bill to delay until July 1, 2014 the restrictions on participation by the UW System in selling or providing telecommunications services (commonly known as the WiscNet bill), was the subject of a public hearing on February 16 in the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities. Chaired by Rep. Stephen Nass (R-Whitewater), who...
Recent comment in this post Show all comments
  • Brett says #
    Man, now I want a ButterBurger and some custard...;^)

The continuing debate in Wisconsin re broadband

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Sunday, January 29, 2012 in State Legislation/Initiatives
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
The Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association is maintaining their pressure on the legislature in opposition to the bill which would extend the WiscNet sunset for a year.Their press release of two days ago suggests that the UW either doesn't know their own business or is attempting to mislead us all, referring to "misleading statements made by Ray Cross, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Extension."http://www.thewheelerreport.com/releases/January12/0126/0126wsta.pdfAs Lisa noted in an earlier blog post, we received a favorable vote in committee as the "Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Higher Education Committee voted 6 – 1 to recommend SB 375 for passage. The bill would delay the restrictions on participation by the University of Wisconsin System in selling or providing telecommunications service, including terminating participation in WiscNet."The WSTA is attempting to sell the idea that the current law would not prohibit the UW from participating in WiscNet -- which might be a meaningful argument if no-one else...

Urge Your Legislator to Support SB 375/AB 473 to Delay WiscNet Changes

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 in State Legislation/Initiatives
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
You may recall that during the state budget process, language was adopted altering the relationship the University of Wisconsin has with WiscNet, effective July 1, 2013.  The budget bill also required the Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) to complete a financial and performance audit of the UW’s relationship with WiscNet by January 1, 2013. This leaves only six months to respond to audit recommendations before the legislation goes into effect!The new law will directly impact the relationship WiscNet has with its 450 members located throughout the state, affecting service to K-12 schools, higher education, and 95% of the state’s public libraries. During the extensive budget deliberations there was not enough time to adequately discuss this complex issue.  Many questions remain unanswered.Fortunately, Senator Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls) and Representative Evan Wynn (R-Whitewater) have introduced SB375/AB 473 amending the effective date of the original legislation to July 1, 2014. A bipartisan group of legislators is...

WiscNet Issues Message on Governor's Partial Veto: Moving Forward

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, July 01, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
WiscNet sends the following message about the Governor's partial veto of the compromise on WiscNet and the UW's broadband grant that was reached in the legislature: Over the past 22 years WiscNet has grown and evolved in response to our members’ needs. We (both the members and the folks that report to work here every day) have come to expect great, innovative advancements from our cooperative on a regular basis. The 2011 Wisconsin Act 32 that was signed into law by Governor Walker on Sunday will not change this. While it does present new challenges (and opportunities) we are committed to moving forward.The law, though not ideal, does not prevent us from operating and despite some inaccurate reports; WiscNet will be around well into the future. As we naviage this new terrain, we will continue to focus on promoting changes that are necessary to make research, education and public service stronger...

Governor Walker's Partial Veto of WiscNet Language: Analysis of Impact Not Completed

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Monday, June 27, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
The Office of Governor Scott Walker released the governor's remarks on the state budget and the governor's partial veto of some measures, including the compromise language on WiscNet. It's possible that the partial veto requires the entire legislature to act, rather than just allowing Joint Finance to postpone the effective date of prohibitions on the UW's telecommunications involvement. It's unclear at this point, but UW officials are analyzing the language. Stay tuned for more information as we learn it.Copied directly from the memo: 19.Joint Committee on Finance Authority to Postpone Telecommunications Services ProhibitionSection 1015xThis section defines telecommunications services and third-party entity and, beginning July 1, 2013, prohibits the University of Wisconsin System from becoming a member, shareholder or partner in any third-party entity or other person that offers, resells, or provides telecommunications services to the general public or to any public or private entity unless the third-party entity or other person...

Your Mom Would Remind You to Say Thank You

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, June 17, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
One of the most important advocacy tasks now before us is to thank members of the legislature for their support of library-related items in the state budget. Even though not everything we wanted is in the budget, libraries are in a better position now than when the governor's budget was introduced earlier this year. There are a number of things to be grateful for:$512,000 in biennial funding was restored for BadgerLink and Newsline for the Blind$183,400 in biennial funding was restored for the Talking Book and Braille LibraryWiscNet will continue for another 2 years, and the UW's federal broadband grant also continues, under a compromise hammered out by UW officials and legislative leadershipPlease thank your legislators today. The Legislative Alert we've created gives you an easy way to do that.When you thank them, make sure to remind legislators that we are pleased with the compromise on WiscNet and we ask that...

WiscNet, Broadband Grant Restored by Assembly

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Thursday, June 16, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
According to a report by the WisPolitics Budget Blog, the Assembly passed the 2011-13 budget bill on a straight party line vote, modifying Joint Finance provisions that would have eliminated the UW's broadband grant and crippled WiscNet.A memo from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau describes the motion containing these and many other provisions amending the budget bill. Items #11 through 13 on pages 28-30 of the memo describe the changes related to WiscNet and the UW's involvement in telecommunications issues.First, item #11 deletes the Joint Finance amendment that would have prohibited the UW from accepting the federal broadband grant altogether. The memo says, "Instead, specify that UW-Extension could not commit any funds to facilities under this project to which such funds were not committed prior to June 15, 2011, unless approved by the Joint Committee on Finance."Item #12 essentially restores WiscNet operations but requires the Legislative Audit Bureau to conduct a financial...

Compromise on WiscNet Seemed Close, But Telcos Push Back

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Tuesday's public statements by legislative leadership, such as those reported by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and hours of negotiation on WiscNet and the UW's federal broadband grant have not yet resulted in compromise budget bill language. Despite several Republican lawmakers requesting that WiscNet and the broadband grant be allowed to continue, lobbying by the Wisconsin State Telecommunications is apparently creating doubt for legislative leadership about the best way to proceed.Our sources state that the NTIA and FCC rankings referenced by WSTA are mainly residential connections; they also reference speeds of at least 3Mbps. The UW's broadband project would expand fiber to not-for-profit and public sector entities and provide speeds of 1,000Mpbs at significantly lower prices than those currently available through BadgerNet. While BadgerNet pricing will likely become less expensive through pending renegotiation of those contracts, the UW project would have a return on investment of less than 5 years. WLA stands by...

June 3 Letter from UW Officials on Joint Finance Actions

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, June 10, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
The following letter was widely distributed throughout the UW System last Friday, June 3: Dear UW System Colleagues,Late Friday, the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee (JFC) completed its work on the proposed 2011-13 biennial budget bill, including provisions related to the University of Wisconsin System. Keeping with the budget proposal submitted by Governor Walker, the committee approved a $250-million reduction in state taxpayer support for UW System over the next two years. Legislators offered many significant amendments to the bill, preserving our unified UW System and offering many long-sought administrative flexibilities to all UW institutions.Here is a brief summary of the JFC amendments:http://www.wisconsin.edu/wip/docs/Summary-of-JFC-Action.pdfHere is the official public statement we issued after the committee vote:http://www.wisconsin.edu/news/2011/r110603.htmPeople from around the state (including many of you) spoke up in support of preserving a unified UW System that includes UW-Madison, and Legislators listened. UW Regents, Chancellors, and other state leaders argued convincingly in favor of new administrative...

WLA Letter to Legislators About WiscNet

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Thursday, June 09, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Your response to WLA's legislative alert has been tremendous. In addition to getting the word out to library supporters, WLA has also sent this letter to all legislators and Governor Walker, outlining our support for WiscNet and broadband expansion. A similar letter has been sent to several newspapers; we encourage you to add your own story (e.g., how much would Internet cost for your organization if WiscNet goes away?) and contact your local paper with this information.On Friday, June 3, the state legislature's Joint Committee on Finance passed Motion 489 that would eliminate WiscNet as a department or office within the UW-Madison Department of Information Technology and eliminate $1.4 million in funding for WiscNet for 2012-13. The motion would also require the UW to return federal grant money that has already been awarded for a broadband expansion project, apparently because of concerns that that this project competes with BadgerNet.We respectfully ask...

Access Wisconsin Applauds Joint Finance Action on WiscNet

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, June 07, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
Access Wisconsin, one of the managing partners of the BadgerNet Converged Network, issued a statement today, applauding Joint Finance Committee Motion 489, which eliminates WiscNet as an office or department of the UW-Madison's Department of Information Technology. Access Wisconsin is a group of smaller, local telecommunications companies that partner with Verizon, AT&T, CenturyTel and KDL to make up the BCN. Read the statement by Access Wisconsin's President and CEO, Mark Weller:http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/110607accessWI_release.pdf...

End of WiscNet? Joint Finance Eliminates UW-Madison WiscNet Office in DoIT

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Monday, June 06, 2011 in State Legislation/Initiatives
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
TAKE ACTION: WLA's Legislative Alert In addition to requiring the return of federal broadband funds, the Omnibus University of Wisconsin System motion passed Friday (Motion 489) by the state legislature's Joint Committee on Finance included the following provision:"Specify that WiscNet could no longer be a department or office within the UW-Madison Division of Information Technology beginning on July 1, 2012, and delete $1,400,000 PR from the UW System related to WiscNet in 2012-13. Require the Legislative Audit Bureau to conduct a program audit and a financial audit of the Board of Regents' use of telecommunication services and relationship with WiscNet."The note in the motion indicates under current law, the Board of Regents is prohibited from providing telecommunication services that are available from a private telecommunications carrier to the general public or any other public or private entity. Currently, WiscNet services more than 450 public and private research, education and government organizations....
Recent comment in this post Show all comments
  • Anonymous says #
    How ironic. Telephone companies weren't even on the playing field in the early 90's, so why do we suddenly need to level the playi...