Colleges and libraries have been up in arms all week over a proposed budget that would have forced the University of Wisconsin to return $39-million in broadband grants and withdraw from a nonprofit high-speed networking cooperative.
Well, state lawmakers have changed course—for now, anyway.
The State Assembly and Senate have both passed a revised budget that will let the University of Wisconsin keep the federal grants, albeit with some additional state oversight. The compromise also means the system’s institutions will not have to pull out of the WiscNet cooperative “pending an audit and two-year study,” according to a university statement. And the universities can remain part of other important networking consortia, like Internet2, said David Giroux, a spokesman for the system.