UW-Extension: Court dismisses suit against UW-Extension broadband project

Contact: Jennifer Smith, Communications, Building Community Capacity through Broadband (BCCB)

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“Vital to the future of the Wisconsin economy”

The decision today by Dane County Circuit Court Judge Peter Anderson to allow broadband internet expansion to continue in four areas of Wisconsin is “good news for the Wisconsin economy,” said project coordinator Maria Alvarez-Stroud.

“This work by the University of Wisconsin-Extension and our many community partners is vital to the future of the Wisconsin economy,” said Ray Cross, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Extension and University of Wisconsin Colleges. “I hope that now government, the university, private businesses and communities in every corner of the state will be able to work together to assure Wisconsin is connected to the global economy.”

The Building Community Capacity through Broadband (BCCB) project is a public-private collaboration that is benefitting Wisconsin communities by connecting 182 Community Anchor Institutions—libraries, schools, government, health care and public safety (police and fire). The project is not serving businesses or residents; rather, it is bringing fiber optic cabling into communities so private telecom businesses can use it to supply these customers. It is a direct goal of this project to increase the number of subscribers to private business internet providers.

Anderson’s decision dismissed a suit filed in July by the Wisconsin Independent Telecommunications Systems, operating as Access Wisconsin. The lawsuit named the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents, WiscNet, CCI Systems Inc. and the state Department of Transportation.