AT&T lobbies Wisconsin GOP to nuke Wisconsin's best-of-breed co-op ISP for educational institutions

Christopher writes, "WiscNet is a co-op network providing ISP services to libraries, schools, local government, and the University of Wisconsin system. AT&T (and incumbent allies) lobbyists have inserted a provision in Wisconsin's budget bill to effectively kill WiscNet (leaving many libaries, etc with only an incumbent provider as ISP). Additionally, the language requires the UW Extension service to return federal stimulus funds that have started building a network that will connect schools, libraries, etc., in four Wisconsin towns where they cannot presently procure those services. Finally, the language is so broad that without being changed, it will require UW to withdraw from Internet2 and other R&E networks. Republicans control the Legislature and are presently deciding just how much they want to defend this absurd provision. Rumors suggest final decisions will be made on Tuesday."

Does AT&T Really Own the Wisconsin Legislature? Battle Over WiscNet Continues (Thanks, Christopher!)