So my 1L year is thankfully behind me, and I’m already moving on to bigger and better things. Hopefully including more frequent blog posts!
For starters on my bigger-and-better agenda, this summer I am interning at a fantastic organization called the Progressive States Network, which acts as a resource connecting advocates with state legislators to help push a progressive agenda forward across the nation. I am researching state policies related to universal broadband access, specifically the FCC reforms of Universal Service Funds to include broadband and state legislation related to community broadband projects. I’ll do posts soon explaining both of those topics in more detail, as it’s all much more interesting than I just made it sound.
Anyway, so far my experience has been really great, and I’m thrilled to have my first piece published in the Dispatch, a newsletter that goes out to 8,000 state legislators, policy-makers, and advocates. There’s always a ton of interesting stuff in there, so I definitely recommend checking it out and subscribing.
AND here is a link to my first published article in the Dispatch, pasted below.
Last Minute Budget Provision Cuts Access to Broadband for Schools, Libraries, Researchers, Targeting the Underserved
In a last minute amendment to its heavily controversial state budget bill, the Wisconsin Joint Committee on Finance added a provision that would greatly reduce broadband access for schools, libraries, and university researchers. The target of this harmful proposal is WiscNet, a not-for-profit Internet Service Provider cooperative that offers inexpensive and flexible broadband service to anchor institutions, provides online learning resources for public schools and libraries, and allows university researchers fast, inexpensive data upload services unavailable from private providers. This proposal by Governor Walker would force WiscNet to return $39 million in federal funds that would be used to lay fiber-optic cables across Wisconsin and would sever the relationship between WiscNet and the University of Wisconsin, which founded WiscNet over 20 years ago. In addition to negatively impacting the University’s connectivity and research capacity, the loss of this funding means that fewer rural community members would have immediate access to broadband.
In dealing with a struggling economy, states like Wisconsin need critical resources like broadband to prosper. It is undeniable that infrastructure plays a critical role in the public’s access to needed services like hospitals and schools. Students, workers, and small businesses in Wisconsin increasingly depend on infrastructure like broadband in order to function in a modern economy. As PSN has noted previously, the benefits from broadband are long-term, and as such, the facilitation of internet services must be seen as part of any comprehensive local economic development strategy.
This eleventh-hour provision is still being debated, so learn more and learn more about the provisions athttp://www.wiscnet.net/.
FULL RESOURCES FROM THIS ARTICLE
LAST MINUTE BUDGET PROVISION CUTS ACCESS TO BROADBAND FOR SCHOOLS, LIBRARIES, RESEARCHERS, TARGETING THE UNDERSERVED
In These Times – Wisconsin Gov. Rejects $810 Million, Thousands of Jobs, for High-Speed Rail Project