Thursday, November 08, 2007

Wisconsin lawmaker wants protections for rural areas in AT&T-backed state franchise legislation

The Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin) notes in an editorial today:

As state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma, notes, Plale's proposal does not contain needed consumer protections and offers no assurances that rural areas -- including the western Wisconsin region that elected her last year -- will enjoy the same access to telecommunication services as the Milwaukee County communities that elect Plale.

In proposing to rewrite the cable franchise bill to require AT&T, cable and other companies to contribute up to $7.5 million to a new "digital divide" fund to protect rural areas from being left behind, Vinehout says, "I'm representing the people that weren't at the table."

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