AT&T Fighting University Of Wisconsin Broadband Expansion

SeanM402's picture
SeanM402
Formally the Appleton area, now living in the Wausau area

AT&T Fighting University Of Wisconsin Broadband Expansion
Connecting schools and hospitals would hurt you, says AT&T

08:52AM Friday Oct 15 2010
by Karl Bode

AT&T lobbyists already convinced Wisconsin lawmakers to pass an AT&T-crafted franchise reform bill, which wound up stripping local consumer protections for broadband services in the state. Earlier this year, AT&T lobbyists pushed for total deregulation in Wisconsin, freeing them entirely from reporting to the PSC or engage in even broadband deployment in the state. Now AT&T and other local carriers are fighting broadband expansion in the state being tackled by the University Of Wisconsin, which was funded in part by federal stimulus funds.

"The network is duplicative and it’s going to impact the ability of local telecommunications providers to invest in those communities,” says Bill Esbeck, the executive director of the Wisconsin State Telecommunications Association. "We just don’t believe that with resources so scarce these days that it’s wise for the UW to be using federal money to compete against private companies and threaten local jobs."

Of course companies like AT&T already trimmed broadband expansion and jobs, and you can't duplicate connectivity AT&T wasn't willing to provide in the first place. The University of Wisconsin expansion network is being used to connect a co-op of hospitals, health care providers, libraries, public safety organizations and colleges.

In other words it would be good for the local economy and residents -- it just wouldn't be good for AT&T, given they couldn't overcharge those institutions via the local AT&T-fueled BadgerNet service. Given BadgerNet charges local institutions $814 a month for 1 Mbps Internet connections, you can fairly quickly figure out exactly what AT&T's looking to protect -- and it isn't "community investment."

http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/ATT-Fighting-University-Of-Wisconsin-Broadband-Expansion-110911

Posted October 15, 2010 9:27pm in

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