May 3rd, 2011 in Government, Jobs and Economy, Wireless Technology

Hearing on Telecom Reform

This week, committees of the Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate will hold hearings on telecom reform in Wisconsin.

Hance Haney, Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute, published this blog post recently negating some of the myths and false assumptions of the bills that are before the committees. Haney wrote a report last year that showed the economic benefits that telecom reform will bring to Wisconsin.

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January 21st, 2011 in Government, Jobs and Economy

Thad Nation on WisBusiness: The Show

Thad Nation, Wired Wisconsin Executive Director, recently appeared on WisBusiness: The Show to talk about the need for telecom modernization in Wisconsin. Check out his appearance.

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April 9th, 2010 in Government, Jobs and Economy, News

What Could Keep Google from Milwaukee

A recent story in The Business Journal of Milwaukee discusses the importance of changing telecomm rules to reflect the realities of the current marketplace.  In the race to be chosen for Google’s “ultra high-speed” fiber network, Wisconsin’s current telecomm regulations put our state at a serious disadvantage.  While the city has campaigned hard to be selected as the Internet giant’s test site, many, including us at Wired Wisconsin, believe the state’s outdated telecomm rules could mean missing out on the opportunity.  A bill pending in the State Legislature proposing changes to our current telecomm rules would begin to make the adjustments necessary to attract Google and put Wisconsin on the right track towards economic development.

Read The Business Journal’s full story here (subscription required).

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April 5th, 2010 in E-Learning, Jobs and Economy, News

Green Tech Makes Our Day

Our coalition cares about many technology-related issues. Technology and education? Check. Broadband deployment? Check. High-tech job creation and industry development? Check.

So hearing about a $4.81 million dollar project that promotes almost all of Wired Wisconsin’s top issues really makes our day.

The Village of Plain, in Sauk County, will soon be the home of the Green Technology Training and Enterprise Center.

In a press release from the Office of the Governor,

The center is being designed as a regional facility that will provide workforce training and business development in green building and green energy trades to high school students, recent high school graduates, entry-level workers, displaced and/or undertrained workers and corporate employees. It will also serve as an industry showcase for career sector marketing.

The center will be built with a $1.1 million grant from the WI Department of Commerce in addition to a $2.4 million dollar grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

Hooray for Wisconsin demonstrating again and again that our state is the place to be for everything pro-technology development and innovation!

To read Governor Doyle’s press release in its entirety:

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February 5th, 2010 in Jobs and Economy

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Whether you are listening to the gubernatorial candidates on the campaign trail, the anchors on TV, or your next door neighbors, everyone is talking about jobs.   In our recovering economy, what fields should we look to?  Where is the future of the job market going? We’re thinking green-tech and high-tech are great up-and-coming fields for job creation.

Green-Tech Jobs: This field combines solutions for both our economic and environmental needs.  Wisconsin is making great strides in renewable technologies such as biofuels and wind energy.

High-Tech Jobs: With technology rapidly evolving, we can look forward to more jobs in this innovative field.  Those skilled in science, math, and other technical areas can excel in high-tech jobs.  This field develops new technologies that make our world safer, healthier, and more efficient.

Times are tough right now, but we’re optimistic that modern fields will facilitate job creation—after all we’re Wisconsinites, always looking forward.

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February 1st, 2010 in Broadband, Jobs and Economy


In these difficult economic times, job creation is essential.  One important area to tap into is broadband. As this Broadband for America blog points out, “Broadband access requires the deployment of networks, the staff to maintain them and all of the related content provider investments along the way.”  Increased broadband deployment ameliorates two problems at once: lack of high speed internet access and lack of work.

Beyond the broadband related jobs, a recent study from The Phoenix Center has shown that those who have access to broadband are more successful in job searches.  With a better internet connection, people can discover new job opportunities more easily.

Whether it’s the jobs that the actual deployment of broadband creates or the improved access to job listings that result from broadband internet, it’s clear, broadband=jobs.

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September 25th, 2009 in Consumers, Jobs and Economy, Tweets

Guest Blog: Privacy, Anonymity, and the Importance of Having a Social Media Policy

Written by Liza Barry-Kessler, Privacy Counsel, LLC

Are your employees blogging? Tweeting? Using FaceBook, LinkedIn, or BlogHer? Do you have any idea?

If you don’t know, and your company or organization is large enough that you can’t call out “Hey? Are you using any of these things?” and get a verbal answer from everyone, then the answer is probably yes.

And they might not be using it in a way that reflects well on their workplace. For example, the now-Internet-famous Lindsay and her former boss both used Facebook in a way that few employers would find acceptable.

In that example, the boss clearly knew who was posting disparaging remarks about him and about the workplace.

What if she’d been complaining anonymously? On Twitter, there is no identity verification, or even any particular motive for using a personally identifiable username. There, so many people complain that they hate their jobs that someone created a feed to capture all of the “I hate my job” tweets in real time.

I tried to find anonymous complaints, but nearly all of them appeared to be either fully identifiable — first and last name — or partially identifiable — first name + profile photo or location. Some even named the employer!

Still, it isn’t hard to imagine a de-identified or anonymous complaint stream in a social network. Companies and organizations should consider instructing employees not to post disparaging comments about their workplaces anywhere that is generally viewable by members of the public.

These kinds of posts and comments seem like the same kind of “venting when you get home from work” comments that many people engage in, but it is in fact, completely different.

Your competitors can’t show potential clients or recruits a transcript of your employees’ dinner table discussions. Inappropriate verbal comments made to an employee’s friends or family are unlikely to become evidence in a discrimination or harassment complaint. These are searchable, they last indefinitely online, and they very well may result in people losing their jobs.

And although your employees may feel anonymous while complaining about their jobs in social media settings, they need to know that they aren’t really anonymous.

If they said something actionable, you could subpoena Twitter’s records about the account, which at a minimum, include an email address. Very likely it also includes the IP address where the account was first created, or where it was most recently used.

While that isn’t necessarily a good proxy for identity, if a person is using their home computer, it should give you ISP data that could be tracked back to a specific customer account. And if that account belongs to Joe Smith at 123 Main Street, and you have an employee with that name and address, you have a pretty good idea who has been “anonymously” disparaging your company online.

Tempting as it might be, don’t fire them online. Some things really should be done the old fashioned way.

About the author

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February 20th, 2009 in Broadband, Consumers, Jobs and Economy, Wireless Technology

Grass Greener on Our Side of the Fence

Hearing more and more voices join the debate about stimulus dollars bringing broadband internet into rural areas, it is important that Wired Wisconsin offers our perspective as well. $7.2 billion dollars of the stimulus package has been allocated for broadband deployment. There are countless people still unable to access a service many of us see as a necessity to everyday life. Most of us do not even think twice about checking our email once a day-ok, countless times a day-or getting the answer to our questions with a few clicks of the mouse. Or maybe you Connected have a whole routine when you first logon in the morning. Mine is checking the weather (a must in Wisconsin), scanning the latest headlines, and checking my various social networking sites (who befriended me today?). The point is that for the majority of us being able to access all the wonders of the internet is a no-brainer, something we expect just as we expect the lights to come on with a flip of the switch. That’s right, I am comparing having electricity to having internet access.

This debate has essentially two sides: First, there are the people who feel that using stimulus dollars to fund the “cyber bridge to nowhere,” is not worth it economically.

The other side of the debate argues that everyone deserves access to broadband service. Just as government dollars were used to bring electricity to households decades ago, these dollars should now bring broadband to our rural neighbors. As it says in Wired Wisconsin’s mission statement “Wired Wisconsin is a non-profit coalition of concerned individuals, businesses and organizations who are working to put our state on the cutting edge of technology.” Notice this says state not just metropolitan areas and their surrounding suburbs. Rather, one of Wired Wisconsin’s top priorities is to bring broadband services to all areas of the state as means to increase the free flow of information. For Wired Wisconsin, we remember and respect our economy’s agricultural roots and will continuously advocate on behalf of all Wisconsinites for policies that encourage competition between broadband providers to offer better services, much less service at all.

What about you-what are your thoughts on denying funds for broadband access to rural areas? Do you have a friend or family member who isn’t connected? Share your story on why this is important to you.

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