Wired Wisconsin: Report on Illinois and Ohio shows significant economic gains from modernized telecom rules

Contact: Thad Nation, 414.412.7814

States see combined $1 billion in investment, 28,000 new jobs

MILWAUKEE— A new report by Wired Wisconsin on the effects of modernized telecom rules in Ohio and Illinois suggests the two states have seen over $1 billion in planned technology investment – largely in infrastructure development – and more than 28,000 projected new jobs since passing legislation earlier this year.

Illinois’ bill – SB 107 – passed through the Legislature in May, and SB 162 passed in Ohio in June. The report, based on data from the Illinois Technology Partnership and Technology for Ohio’s Tomorrow, shows more than $540 million of announced investment in Ohio since July 1st, resulting in an estimated 20,000 new jobs. Illinois has seen approximately $520 million in announced investment, and an estimated 8,400 new jobs.

“The data here is crystal clear: if you want to see a great deal of economic development in your state, passing comprehensive telecom reform is the way to go,” said Thad Nation, Executive Director of Wired Wisconsin. “But as other Midwestern states continue to see new infrastructure, the expansion of new technologies, and new jobs, Wisconsin is being left behind.”

Prior to this year, Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin all had regulations on the books that required companies to put resources into copper line technologies that consumers no longer demand, stifling investment in newer technologies like broadband and wireless. That has changed with the passage of legislation in Ohio and Illinois, but Wisconsin – which last updated its telecom regulations in 1994 – has yet to take action.

“The evidence continues to pile up on the benefits of modernizing telecom regulations,” Nation said. “Governor-elect Walker has suggested he would seek to update telecommunications laws, and we hope he stays true to his word. As soon as the State Legislature reconvenes in January, comprehensive telecom reform should be among its top priorities, and lawmakers should work to get a bill to Governor-elect Walker’s desk as quickly as possible.”

A copy of the report is attached to this release.


Wired Wisconsin is the Wisconsin-based project of Midwest Consumers for Choice and Competition (MCCC), a non-profit organization of individual consumers interested in technology, broadband, and telecommunication issues with state projects throughout the Midwest region.

The project will work to support an environment for innovative technology, high-tech job creation, and economic growth. Wired Wisconsin will seek to educate consumers, policy makers, and businesses about technology- related legislative and regulatory issues that impact our lives and advocate for common-sense approaches to spur innovation and grow the economy. For more information, visit http://www.wiredwisconsin.org.