The state’s library systems could be paying a lot more for Internet access, if proposed cuts to a nonprofit cooperative run by the UW System are included in the final budget. Gus Falkenberg, technology coordinator for the Indianhead Federated Library System in Eau Claire, said WiscNet provides an affordable Internet portal, and being forced to go with a private ISP would be a significant increased cost, from around $9,000 to as much as $60,000. “We may have to consider how we connect all of our libraries together, and whether we’ll even be able to continue doing that,” he said. State schools Superintendent Tony Evers has also raised concerns over cuts to WiscNet, which is operated by the UW System. State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has said the issue may get another look before the budget is voted on.
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