May 12. 2011 2:00AM - Last modified: March 14. 2012 1:19PM

State Legislature passes telecom deregulation


The state Legislature Wednesday overwhelmingly passed an overhaul of the state's telecommunication regulations. The bill passed through the State Senate on a bipartisan 25-8 vote, and passed in the Assembly on a bipartisan 80-13 vote.
Supports said the bill will eliminate outdated regulations and will stimulate economic development and job creation. A recent study by the Discovery Institute, commissioned by the Wisconsin Technology Council and Wired Wisconsin, estimated legislation such as the bill just passed by the Legislature would create or retain more than 50,000 jobs and generate $2.6 billion in economic activity over time.
"From eCommerce to telemedicine, and from data centers to distance learning, this legislation will help Wisconsin create more high-tech jobs, services and investment," said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. "The Legislature deserves credit for working to pass these special session bills so quickly, and for bringing the benefits of modernized telecom rules to Wisconsin residents across the state."
"The benefits of modernized telecom rules have already been seen in states across the region, and making this legislation law is crucial if Wisconsin is to keep up and create a modern, 21st Century economy," said Thad Nation, executive director of Wired Wisconsin.
"This legislation will update Wisconsin's regulation of the telephone industry for the broadband age," said Gov. Scott Walker. "These reforms will encourage more private sector investment and bring jobs to the state."