I thank Dan for finding more about this. It seems to have the goal of protecting ATT’s (lucrative?) contract BadgerNet. Once again we see the problem in treating the Internet as something we access over a phone network. This seems to echo legislation prohibiting competing not just with the incumbent carriers but with the very idea of the Internet as infrastructure.
As long as we accept the idea we must have service providers it’s a matter of who will control our ability to communicate. I can see why a university system would be worrisome to those who have a vested interest in maintaining high costs to justify high prices.
BadgerNet is the state’s telecommunications network; it does not provide Internet service. Most BadgerNet users (e.g., state government, schools, and libraries) receive their Internet access via WiscNet (http://www.wiscnet.net)†. WiscNet started providing Internet access in 1991 to 26 colleges and universities in the state. When the first BadgerNet network was built in the mid-1990s, WiscNet expanded its services to include K-12 schools and public libraries. WiscNet is a not-for-profit association under the auspices of the UW–Madison. It is governed by a Board of Directors representing member institutions. For public libraries in the state, the average annual membership in WiscNet is about $450. Many libraries have this fee paid for by their regional library system.
So I have to wonder again what is going on. While it may be rationale to unify all connectivity into a common IP-based system the idea of offing the existing IP based systems seems very wrong.
I checked out Vos' page (http://nxt.legis.state.wi.us/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates&fn=default.htm&d=indxauth&jd=A63) but no mention of BadgerNet. Too bad we can’t shame him by exposing his ignorance since so of this pursuing policy on all sides accept the “Internet as a service” meme.
I’m interested how much ATT is raking in with their service contract. If the Vos' and others are arguing that unions are bad then why create a sinecure for ATT void of competition? More reason for an infrastructure approach.
The heart of the problem is the absurd idea of telecommunications services now that we understand bits --http://rmf.vc/InternetLostInTranslation.
From: Dan Miller [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2011 16:10
To: Bob Frankston
Subject: Wisconsin Omnibus Budget Bill Kills Wisconsin Networking
Their explanation? Don't compete with BadgerNet!!!!!
...Republican lawmakers say the university should not be in the business of providing telecommunications services.
Rep. Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said he was concerned the new broadband networks would compete with an already existing network called BadgerNet.
Luckily, it has to go through two houses of the Wisconsin Legislature:
On Mon, Jun 6, 2011 at 9:50 PM, Bob Frankston <Bob19email@example.com> wrote:
How crazy are these people?
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2011 17:53
To: Network Neutrality Squad
Subject: [ NNSquad ] Wisconsin Omnibus Budget Bill Kills Wisconsin
Here is a budget bill inserted at 8 PM on a Friday which guts the UW
ability to do our own networking. It would kill WiscNet and stop us
from using Internet2. It would force us to give back our BTOP grant
money! It will devastate networking for more than 400 institutions
around the State of Wisconsin, including University of Wisconsin
schools, other colleges and universities, K12 schools, libraries,
cities and counties.
Here is the pertinent language:
23. Telecommunication Services: Prohibit the Board of Regents, the UW
System, any UW institution, or the UW Extension, directly or
indirectly, from doing any of the following: (a) receiving funds from
any award from the National Telecommunications and Information
Administration (NTIA) under the U.S. Department of Commerce for the
Building Community Capacity through Broadband (BCCB) project; (b)
disbursing, spending, loaning, granting, or in any other way
distributing or committing to distribute any funds received with
respect to, budgeted to, or allocated for the BCCB project; and (c)
participating in the planning, organization, funding, implementation
or operation of the BCCB project. In addition, requires the Board of
Regents to reduce the amount expended on telecommunications services
during the 2011-12 biennium by the total value of any funds, goods, or
services that have been or will be distributed by the or on behalf of
the Board of Regents, the UW System, any UW institution, or the UW
Extension on or after May 1, 2011, to any participant, contractor, or
supplier related to the BCCB project.
24. Modify current law to specify that the Board of Regents shall not
offer, resell, or provide telecommunications services, directly or
indirectly, that are available from a private telecommunications
carrier to the general public or to any other public or private
entity. Define telecommunications services as including data and voice
over Internet protocol services, broadband access and transport,
information technology services, Internet access services, and unlit
25. Prohibit the Board of Regents, the UW System, any UW institution,
or the UW Extension from becoming or remaining a member, shareholder,
or partner in or with any company, corporation, non-profit
association, joint venture, cooperative, partnership, consortium, or
any other individual or entity that offers, resells, or provides
telecommunications services or information technology services to
members of the general public, or to any private entity, or to any
public entity other than the Board, the UW System, any UW institution,
or the UW Extension.
26. 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.
Open Infrastructure Alliance