In a move that will save Wisconsin taxpayers nearly $8 million annually, the state has renegotiated its contract with AT&T and its partners to provide higher broadband speeds at lower costs on the BadgerNet Converged Network (BCN), Gov. Scott Walker announced on Sept. 6.
“The new broadband contract we’re announcing today dramatically improves the quality of service to users," Walker said in a press release. “Schools and local governments throughout Wisconsin will have the ability to utilize this contract and potentially save money. Ultimately, this enhances the quality of education for our students, as well as the quality of local government services for our taxpayers."
BCN, which launched in 1995, is Wisconsin’s statewide network — it delivers Internet to all 72 counties by providing wide area network, Internet transport and video applications to state government and educational entities. Once all network upgrades and migrations are completed, capacity for BCN customers will exceed 400 gigabytes; currently installed bandwidth capacity is 90 gigabytes.
The contract, effective Nov. 1, 2016, will offer current state agency subscribers and Technology for Educational Achievement educational agencies a 7 percent savings on their current service rates at 1.5 megabytes per second and above.