Wired Wisconsin: 101 business, economic development, education & consumer groups sign on to letter in support of telecom modernization

Contact: Thad Nation, 414.412.7814

Broad Statewide Coalition Urges Lawmakers to Modernize Outdated Telecom Law Now to Attract New Jobs, Investment to Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE— A total of 101 business, economic development, chamber, education and consumer organizations from across Wisconsin have now signed on to a letter calling on Wisconsin legislators and Governor Walker to take quick action to modernize the state’s outdated telecom law. Forty new organizations have added their support to the letter, which was originally sent late last year.

The letter points to the economic gains the state could see if Wisconsin’s telecommunications law – last updated in 1994 – was modernized to accommodate the ever-changing technology landscape. Wisconsin would create or retain 50,000 jobs and see an annual economic impact of $2.6 billion if the state passed modern telecom rules, according to a recent study commissioned by Wired Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Technology Council.

“The coalition in support of telecom modernization continues to grow, as does the need for our state to pass new legislation quickly,” said Thad Nation, Executive Director of Wired Wisconsin. “While other Midwestern states have already updated their telecom laws, Wisconsin continues to miss out on new investment and new jobs. Our state cannot afford to fall further behind.”

Most of Wisconsin’s Midwestern neighbors, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Iowa, have already acted to modernize their laws and have seen jobs and investment follow. Illinois and Ohio recently updated their telecom laws last year and since then, have seen a combined $1 billion in announced investment and an estimated 29,000 jobs, according to another Wired Wisconsin study.

Signees of the letter include numerous chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, business groups, private companies, consumer and rural organizations, and technical colleges from throughout the state.

A copy of the letter is attached to this release.