UPDATE: WiscNet says it will survive - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: WiscNet says it will survive

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Officials with the Internet service provider dropped by the University of Wisconsin system say they're confident WiscNet can survive.

The nonprofit has lost 27% of its revenue since being dropped by UW.

WiscNet provides cheap Internet access to 75% of Wisconsin's public school districts and 90% of its libraries.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that David Lois, the executive director of WiscNet, told a joint hearing of two Wisconsin Senate committees Monday this is a critical time for all entities involved.

But he said that while the UW system made up a large percentage of the network's revenue, it also accounted for a large part of its expenses.

Republicans who ordered the UW-WiscNet partnership dissolved said it put private vendors at a disadvantage.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin Senate's telecommunications and universities committees are set to review broadband provider WiscNet's status.

WiscNet is a nonprofit organization that provides cheap Internet access for UW System institutions, public schools and libraries. UW has partnered with WiscNet for years, providing employees and infrastructure.

Republicans contend UW is subsidizing telecommunications and putting private vendors at a disadvantage. They have ordered the system to disengage with WiscNet.

UW officials responded by opening up bids for a new Internet provider but wound up awarding the contract to WiscNet, angering Republicans. Last month the system rescinded the deal, creating uncertainty about WiscNet's future and whether schools and libraries might have to turn to pricier vendors.

The two committees are set to hold a joint public hearing on the situation Monday.

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