Broadband access jeopardized by GOP action in Wisconsin

Private companies complain that a broadband grant to the UW system is unfair for competition.

**Update: Wisconsin state legislators have backed off their controversial plan to cut $37 million in federal broadband money from the University of Wisconsin system amid sharp protest from the state’s schools. For details, see here.**

A federally funded effort to expand broadband service in Wisconsin is in jeopardy because some state officials don’t think the recipient of the grant, the University of Wisconsin (UW) system, should get the money. The grant to a public university makes it harder for private companies to compete in delivering broadband service, they say.

Area lawmakers from both parties are voicing concerns over a provision added to the proposed state budget to strip federal stimulus funding from a project to build telecommunications infrastructure—including high-speed, broadband internet cables—in the Chippewa Valley and elsewhere in Wisconsin.…Read More