AT&T Politicians Take Aim at Wisconsin Broadband Funds
Protectionism Dressed up as Fiscal Responsibility
by Karl Bode 08:35AM Wednesday Jun 08 2011 Tipped by goillini
Back in February we noted
that Wisconsin was poised to be the first state to give back their federal broadband infrastructure funding, which would have been used to improve police, fire, hospital, school and library connectivity across some 380 Wisconsin communities. It's not that Wisconsin didn't need
the infrastructure improvement, it's that AT&T (who literally writes the telecom laws in the state
) dominates the state connectivity options with a over-priced and under-powered service called Badgernet, which AT&T is interested in protecting. According to the Wisconsini State Journal
, AT&T has lawmakers in the state pushing this line of thinking, taking aim at WiscNet funding:
The University of Wisconsin System would be forced to return about $37 million in federal funds intended to extend broadband Internet across Wisconsin, under a provision passed by the Legislature’s budget committee Friday. The legislation would also prohibit UW System campuses from supporting WiscNet, a cooperative that brings high-speed Internet to most schools and libraries across the state. Campus leaders say they fear the change could cripple the network.
To be clear: state politicians dress this sort of behavior up as fiscal responsibility, but it's simple protectionism at AT&T's behest, with the added benefit of keeping educators and emergency personnel under-connected and over-paying. "Who needs 1Gbps fiber when AT&T can sell you a good 'ol 1.5 Mbps T1?" asks article submitter goillini
| |TransmasterDon't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and OpusReviews:
The parallels in history of astonishing A little over a hundred years ago what was then the information superhighway was mostly all a part of the Rail Roads. At the time the RR's had pet congressmen and Senators in Washington as well as domination in many state legislatures. They fought anything that would effect their monopolies on RR routes and telegraph service. It wasn't until reform minded people took control in Washington when this monopoly was broken up and antitrust regulations were passed into law. Sadly we are in the same situation today. Revolving door regulators going to work for the very companies they are charged with regulating. Congressmen and Senators at the State and national level so hungry for money to pay for increasingly expensive campaign's they are wide open to bribery. While all this is going on, just like a hundred years ago the average person is screwed.
I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man's reasoning powers are not above the monkey's.
- Mark Twain in Eruption
WiscNet Maybe I'm missing something, but I know for a fact that basically WiscNET is integrated into the UW system. To start, all WiscNet queries go through UW-Madison's main router and all the connections are like VPN's. While AT&T does have a large share of Badgernet, Norlight (KDL), and 2 other carriers also provides main connections for the program.
Translation, YOU CAN'T SEPARATE WISCNET FROM THE UW WITHOUT BUILDING A NEW NETWORK! And where would the money for that come from?
WiscNet Network Map:
This is a quote:
"Meachen says one of the unintended consequences of the legislation is that the University of Wisconsin, cannot join any association, collaborative or consortium that serves any institutions, public or private, outside of the UW system.
The implications for this are so dire, as to be unbelievable, he said. We have to resign from Internet2, we can't be part of it, or Boreasnet. These are huge federal government research networks that are mandatory for many of our federal grants. We have a billion dollars in grants at UW-Madison. We don't know how many tens of millions of dollars we won't be able to get because we are not members of Internet2.
Funny thing is that the money the state gave back to the feds for broadband, was ACTUALLY last-mile access! They pawned it off on middle-mile access, but it was for schools to put a fiber for about 1-3 miles from the main CO's in the ILEC's area's. Oh ya, and then they were going to basically GIVE the fiber to the ILEC's to "manage".
The real issue is simply the republicans in the state going after anything and EVERYTHING they can before they are recalled in elections. The Governor (Walker) is doing it, just like he pushed "Fiscal Responsibility" aka Collective bargaining through the state house and senate. It all a big joke, and now that people in the state are informed as to what is happening, they are recalling state senators, and the governor to come. That is why 100,000 people show'd up at the capital in Madison in March to protest Walker's budget...All while he slipped out though a tunnel from the capital to the Risser Justice center, so as basically to get out and not be seen.
Sounded screwed up then, just as much as it does now.
Here are some letters people are writing about this legislation:
What a joke I work for a small cable company here in Wisconsin. The telco's are a joke. We build FTTH everyday to customers that Frontier does nothing with. They all want broadband but Frontier does nothing but suck up money and pay bonus to the higher ups! The feds classify Cell 3G as broadband. Except if you are a cell user your lucky to get 256k most of the time in the country, and once you hit your bandwidth limit for the month be prepaid to pay thousands in over chargers. One blu-ray exceeds the monthly usage! It's unworkable to say the least. We offer fiber to the home with speed up to 100mb and unlimited usage. What causes me to rant is we have to pay into the USF. We pay but can never apply for the funds. Its pure graff for the Telcos. We, the company that is offering land lines with all the call feachers, 500 min of long distance to anywhere in the US or Canada for a fee of less then $20 including taxes and mystery charges, the company who offers rural Internet up to 100mb in speed and unlimited usage, today, right now, not in the future, has to pay into the USF so Frontier can be subsidised to offer phone for $25 to the poor, with no long distance and maybe one day, (that never comes) offer 1.5mb DSL to areas we are already servicing with no handouts! AAaaarrrrrhhhhh...........If they really want to subsidise broadband give each customer a $1200 valucher to give to the company of their choice. Company's like our would compete by offer the best deals and everyone would get high speed Internet. The crooked politicians need to get out of the private sector.