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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Goth_Skunk@Manta: No, Gamergate is not rife with bigots and misogynists. Additionally, nothing excuses the behaviour by members of games press towards people they don't like, either. There is a lack of GG presence here because this site is still considered to be06/30/2015 - 2:57pm
Goth_SkunkWell I din't really have anywhere else to post it! Lord knows GP would not have posted a story about the Breitbart article. I'm genuinely sorry that I filled up so much space in the shoutbox, but I honestly had no other relevant place to put it.06/30/2015 - 2:53pm
ZippyDSMleeBOth sides make the asumpsoin that anyone is listening to what they have to say. I tend to ignore GG as mindless spewing of discomntent with everything and the other side is about the same whine whine we do not like whine whine. Can we move on yet?06/30/2015 - 2:52pm
Andrew EisenI made this video about two years ago but it's topical again. "The Effects of Gay Marriage" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcFyxiYu9I406/30/2015 - 12:12pm
black mantaA little more compact, but still not a radical re-design.06/30/2015 - 12:00pm
SuperKeegYeah, the proton pack is different in design, but similar in spirit. Its a little dirty, not pretty, but functional.06/30/2015 - 11:08am
IvresseI'm guessing it's specifically designed to be smaller. The original packs were pretty bulky looking...06/30/2015 - 11:07am
E. Zachary KnightThe proton pack is a very different design. Here is the original: http://www.gbfans.com/wiki/Proton_Pack_Part_Names06/30/2015 - 10:50am
black mantaProton pack looks essentially the same to me. Have no problem with either, BTW. :)06/30/2015 - 10:32am
Andrew EisenNot much change to the uniforms so I was surprised to see such a redesign for the proton pack. I like it though!06/30/2015 - 10:22am
Andrew EisenGhostbuster proton pack: https://twitter.com/paulfeig/status/61586646983075840006/30/2015 - 10:19am
Andrew EisenGhostbuster uniforms: https://twitter.com/paulfeig/status/61565492324668211206/30/2015 - 10:18am
Mattsworknamegamergate or any part of that movment. My biggest issues have always been more about my views on the idustry on a personal level rather then any affilication with GG.06/30/2015 - 9:50am
MattsworknameI only really every had any interest in the GG stuff when they were going in about the media and stuff and the whole "Gamers are Dead" junk. As a general rule, whatever issues I had with various groups was more my own issues, not anything specific with06/30/2015 - 9:49am
Andrew EisenI'm still trying to figure out where anyone is getting the idea violent content or lousy representation of women and minorities in video games shouldn't exist or be promoted.06/30/2015 - 9:25am
james_fudgeWell, members of GP first, members of GG second, I always say.06/30/2015 - 9:06am
black mantaConsidering it's only you and Mattsworkname that have been carrying the banner for it here, that pretty much testifies to how little influence they have. Most everyone else here couldn't care less.06/30/2015 - 8:54am
black mantaAgain GG is more like Occupy Wall Street than the Tea Party movement. They had their moment, but they fizzled out. And now exist more as a nebulous thing spouting ideas. They haven't achieved anything meaningful.06/30/2015 - 8:52am
black mantaAs sincere as your beliefs may be, the movement is still rife with bigots and misogynists.06/30/2015 - 8:51am
black mantaI'm sure you're heart's in the right place, Goth. But it doesn't excuse the behavior of GG's members towards the people they don't like.06/30/2015 - 8:50am
 

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