WiscNet Activists Make Wisconsin Lawmakers Say Uncle

June 16, 2011 -

Whoever said you can't fight city hall has never been to the great state of Wisconsin. State legislators (admittedly a bit more powerful than city hall) found themselves overwhelmed with calls after trying to cut the throat of Wisconsin's state educational Internet system. The public phoned members of Wisconsin’s state Assembly and browbeat them into submission.

The calls were so overwhelming, according to published reports, that lawmakers in the state immediately put together revised legislation for WiscNet that would allow it to receive funding from the University of Wisconsin's Division of Information Technology. The Assembly quickly added provisions to the state budget, with final approval taking place early this morning. WiscNet provides Internet for most of Wisconsin's public schools and libraries, and many citizens in the state think it is a vital and important service.

Earlier this week it didn't look good for WiscNet; partisan battles over state finances put a target on the proverbial back of the network, much to the joy of AT&T. Earlier this month an Assembly Joint Finance Committee proposal wanted to force WiscNet to separate itself from the UW-Madison Division as of July 1, 2012 and give up $1.4 million in funds from the UW system in 2012-13. This would have forced some schools to opt for Badgernet, a telecom-backed nonprofit that relies heavily on AT&T as its primary vendor.

The budget legislation would also have barred the UW system from receiving or dispersing any funds from the federal government's broadband stimulus program and would have forced the university to return around $40 million in funds.

But Monday turned out to be D-Day for Internet, community, and educational groups, who stormed the phone lines of legislators with protests against the proposals.

"Legislators said, 'please don't call us any more,'" University of Wisconsin economic development professor Andy Lewis told Ars Technica.

Ars Technica has the full story here, but the take-away is that people should fight hard for the things they believe are important. Sometimes - even in the toughest of fights - you can win.


 
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benohawkNo need to apologize Big Perm08/04/2015 - 11:55am
benohawkThe changing to 0 only being a 1 was local security policy change, not the reghack08/04/2015 - 11:49am
Big PermSorry Beno, it looks like you're right.08/04/2015 - 11:49am
Big PermFrom what I've heard (and obviously I could be wrong here), but I hear even setting it to "0" in the registry will only change to "1" or "Basic" collection. I'll try to find the article I got this from08/04/2015 - 11:40am
benohawkBig Perm, you can disable telemetry, just not through the gui. It's a matter of adding a registry key and disabling a couple services08/04/2015 - 11:34am
Big PermBlazers w/ t-shirts trigger me. This madness must be stopped08/04/2015 - 10:36am
PHX Corphttps://twitter.com/JimSterling Jim Sterling's commentary of the Xbox Gamescom event08/04/2015 - 9:34am
Big PermI'm talking about not being able to fully disable telemetry unless you have Enterprise software. It's just creepy to me08/04/2015 - 9:31am
TechnogeekBig Perm: If you're talking about the image I think you are, then no, not really. The claims it makes are, at best, extremely misleading in many instances.08/04/2015 - 9:28am
E. Zachary KnightBig Perm, That would make logical sense, so of course YouTube would not allow you to set your subscription page as the home page.08/04/2015 - 9:14am
Big PermBy the way. Anyone else kind of spooked by Microsofts data collection that's being reported about Win10? Thinking of finally trying a linux box for general use and Windows for gaming only08/04/2015 - 8:59am
Big PermCan you set youtube to load subs instead of recommendations first?08/04/2015 - 8:54am
MonteI've had mostly good experience with Youtube recommendations... only problem is when i watch a certain video that messes it up and gets me reconmendations i don't want. Though all i have to do is remove said video from my history to fix it08/04/2015 - 8:42am
Big PermYoutube wants me to watch Nicki Minaj videos. I am ok with this. Dat mute tho08/04/2015 - 7:48am
IvresseIronpatriot: I think it's fair to say that even anti-gamergaters want you to just shut the hell up...08/04/2015 - 7:27am
Sora-Chan@Andrew Eisen: A tip for when it comes to clicking people's video recommendations, use Incognito/Private Mode.that'll keep those kinds of recommendations off the radar. =P08/04/2015 - 5:37am
InfophileWow, I just got an e-mailed ad from Nintendo: "FREE AC Adapter with New Nintendo 3DS XL" - So... pretending this didn't used to be normal, are we?08/04/2015 - 3:34am
MattsworknameNight man, take care08/04/2015 - 2:59am
Andrew EisenOff to bed. Play nice.08/04/2015 - 2:53am
Andrew EisenNo worries. Yeah, it's the pits. It's like "How many times do I have to tell you I'm not interested in this producer's work before you stop recommending his videos to me?!"08/04/2015 - 2:53am
 

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